Soldotna City Council voted Wednesday to keep the city’s mill rate flat for the upcoming fiscal year. Property owners in the city will continue to pay 0.5 mills, with the city forecasting about $355,000 in revenue from property taxes for the 12-month period that starts on July 1.
Mill rates are used to figure out how much someone will pay in property taxes during a certain fiscal year. To calculate how much property tax they expect to pay, an individual must divide the mill rate by 1,000 and then multiply that by their property’s taxable value.
Council member Dave Carey put forward an amendment that would have reduced Soldotna’s mill rate from 0.5 mills to 0.25 mills, however, that amendment was voted down by council members. In proposing a decrease to the rate, which council members have lowered six times since it was set in 1983, Carey said the city doesn’t always need all of the money that it takes in through property taxes.
“We get very little money from the property tax,” Carey said. “We have so many properties in the city that are exempt because they are health care or other nontax status. The truth is we don’t need that money, because we have such a significant amount of money coming from sales tax and also from the interest on the large amount of surplus that we have invested.”
Soldotna Mayor Paul Whitney said that decreasing the city’s mill rate wouldn’t make a significant difference for Soldotna citizens, but would rather create significant cost savings for larger property owners, like Fred Meyer. Lowering the mill rate, he said, would also come as the city prepares to begin making payments on debt incurred for the construction of a field house.
“I would guess that the large property owners or the large businesses who would benefit from lower property tax are not necessarily going to pass it on to the consumer, by lowering their prices in this day and age,” Whitney said.
Wednesday’s city council meeting can be streamed on the city’s website at soldotna.org.
Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at email@example.com.