Kenai to vote on budget, borough bed tax

The budget appropriates over $16 million in general fund spending.

The Kenai City Council will vote on the 2020 annual budget at their meeting Wednesday night.

The budget, which goes into effect July 1, 2019, appropriates over $16 million in general fund spending.

The proposed budget includes $500,000 committed to renovations and improvements to city facilities. They have also included a 2% pay increase to the city’s salary schedule, which would go into effect July 1.

The resolution to establish the 2019 mill rate at 4.35 mills is also scheduled for adoption on May 15.

Kenai Municipal Code requires that both the budget and mill rate be adopted by June 2019.

The council will also decide if the City of Kenai will support the proposed Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly bed tax.

The tax would establish a 12% sales tax on temporary lodging and will allow for an exemption in cities that apply a separate temporary lodging tax of an amount equal to the city’s tax for a maximum of one half of the borough ‘s tax.

The ordinance has been reintroduced by Assemblyman Dale Bagley. A similar proposal has been rejected by the assembly.

According to City Manager Paul Ostrander in council documents, Kenai’s participation in the bed tax would include about 28 businesses, not including motor homes or tents.

Ostrander also said, in council documents, that the council may want to consider recommending that the assembly include the taxation or RV and tent sites.

According to Ostrander, the city enacted a 5% bed tax in 1991 which was put in place to promote economic development in the city and tourism within the city. It was suspended in 1996, because it put the city of Kenai at a competitive disadvantage when local lodging was in low demand.

“The suspension of the bed tax was due to the possibility of adverse impacts on Kenai hotel/motel operators that asserted the tax made them uncompetitive with similar businesses outside of the City of Kenai that did not have a bed tax,” Ostrander said.

The council will meet Wednesday night at 6 p.m.

More in News

A king salmon during the 67th annual Golden North Salmon Derby at the Don D. Statter Memorial Boat Harbor in August 2013. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire
Low king counts result in closures on southern Kenai Peninsula

As of Sunday, video weirs and sonar had counted 184 king salmon at the Anchor River.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks during a Friday, March 27, 2020 press conference in the Atwood Building in Anchorage, Alaska. (Photo courtesy Office of the Governor)
Revised travel mandates to begin Friday

Those arriving from outside the state must self-quarantine, but revisions allow for exceptions.

Nikiski Fire Station #2, seen here on July 15, 2019 in Nikiski, Alaska. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)
3 in Nikiski fire service test positive for virus

11 members of the department have been quarantined due to the possibility of COVID-19 exposure.

The Devil’s Creek Trail in Chugach National Forest, seen June 15, 2018. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
During pandemic, Chugach National Forest mostly stays the same

One of the differences will be in how much volunteer help the forest gets.

In front and from left to right, Aaron Ford, Karianna Ford and Jenni Stowe hold signs at a protest on Sunday, May 30, 2020, at WKFL Park in Homer, Alaska, in support of people of color who have been the subject of police violence, including George Floyd, a man who died May 25, 2020, in a police encounter in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In addition to the “We (heart) our po po” sign — “po po” is slang for “police” — there also was a sign that read “Thank you HPD.” (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
Homer residents organize multiple demonstrations on racial injustice

Gatherings, protests and demonstrations have been held in Alaska from Anchorage to Haines to Bethel.

Participants in a Black Lives Matters protest hold signs at the entrance to Soldotna Creek Park along the Sterling Highway in Soldotna on Wednesday. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)
Peninsula residents turn out for Black Lives Matter

The protest drew about 50 participants to Soldotna Creek Park.

Alberta confirmed 13 new COVID-19 cases in the province Tuesday. There are no active cases in the central zone. (Image courtesy the CDC)
Virus case count continues to grow

20 new cases of COVID-19 reported, including 5 on the Kenai Peninsula.

Nikiski teen dies in ATV crash

The youth was driving a four-wheeler on Old Halbouty Road.

State turns attention to unemployment insurance fraud

Approximately 40 fraudulent claims have been identified in the past week.

Most Read