Homer asks voters to approve sales tax boost to pay for new police station

The city of Homer is again asking residents to approve funding for a new police station — one the Homer Police Department says is badly needed — with the proposed sales tax increase going to voters in a June 26 special election.

The Homer City Council voted at its May 14 meeting to ask voters for permission to issue $5 million in bonds toward paying for construction, with an additional 0.35 percent added to the city’s sales tax to cover the debt payments. If approved by voters, the sales tax hike would take effect Jan. 1, boosting the Homer tax rate to 4.85 percent on top of the Kenai Peninsula Borough’s 3 percent tax.

Most of the tax increase — 0.3 percent — would expire at the end of the year in which the city makes its final payments on the bond debt. The small remainder — 0.05 percent — would stay in place to pay for ongoing maintenance costs at the building.

Homer voters in the fall of 2016 rejected a 0.65 percent seasonal boost in the sales tax rate for a new police station. The city has since redesigned the project, bringing down the estimated budget to replace the 1980s’ building to $7.5 million. In addition to the bond issue, Homer would use its savings to cover the full cost.

For the rest of this story, visit the Homer News.

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