Soldotna releases annual financial report

Soldotna residents can take a look at how their tax dollars were spent during the last fiscal year in two reports put together by the city.

The city has released its 2016 Popular Annual Financial Report. The document, available on the city’s website, is a simplified version of the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for fiscal year 2016, from July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016.

“What it’s intended to highlight is just the great things that we’ve been doing in the city,” said City Manager Mark Dixson. “It’s really to tell the taxpayer where their dollars are going.”

The city has been putting out the less complicated version of the report almost every year since 2010, said Finance Director Melanie Imholte.

The report shows Soldotna’s total revenue for fiscal year 2016 was just more than $15.2 million, while the city’s total expenditures were about $16.7 million. The city’s fund balance sat at just over $25 million at the end of that fiscal year, according to the report.

Soldotna brought in more than $6.9 million in sales tax revenue in fiscal year 2016, according to the report. This is $718,824 less than what the city collected in fiscal year 2015. The dip in revenue can be attributed in part to an ordinance that was passed during the October 2015 borough-wide election that put an end to the power general law cities had to collect sales tax at their own discretion.

Non-prepared food items are exempt from borough sales tax from September through May, but at the time, Soldotna exempted itself from that rule as a first class, general law city. The ordinance passed in 2015 prompted Soldotna to conform to borough tax collection practices, and therefore cease collecting sales tax on groceries during winter months.

“It definitely did affect city finances,” Imholte said.

When Soldotna became a home-rule city after its charter was approved during the October 2016 municipal election, members of the city council voted to reinstate the year-round sales tax on non-prepared foods. That move didn’t take effect until the end of December, though, so the lack of that sales tax during non-summer months will continue to be reflected in next year’s financial report on fiscal year 2017.

“We’re waiting to see what the numbers are going to look like,” Dixson said.

It is impossible to attribute the city’s loss in sales tax revenue for fiscal year 2016 solely to the temporary loss of the year-round grocery tax, Imholte said. Low fuel prices and other factors also play a part in that decrease, and it is difficult to separate them out, she said.

The report also details the capital improvements and other changes that took place over fiscal year 2016, such as the Soldotna Community Memorial Park cemetery expansion, the connection of the Centennial Park riverfront trail to the Visitor Center and the adoption of the city’s home-rule charter.

Reach Megan Pacer at

More in News

The Alaska State Capitol is seen in Juneau, Alaska, in 2022. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Supreme Court rules against forward funding for education, confirms limit on legislative power

Setting multi-year budgets in Alaska requires cash on hand, justices said

Sarah Palin speaks at a July 11 Save America Rally featuring former President Donald Trump at Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
What to watch: Cheney in trouble; Palin eyes comeback

Sarah Palin jumped on a vacancy in the state’s congressional delegation as a potential springboard back into elected office

Assembly members participate during a meeting of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly on Tuesday, June 21, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Assembly to revisit gravel pit legislation

A proposed ordinance would overhaul borough code addressing material site permits

Campaign signs decorate the outside of Paradisos Restaurant on Monday, Aug. 15, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Election 2022: Where, how, when to vote

Polls open at 7 a.m. Tuesday

As measured by the CDC, dispensing rate reflects the number of prescriptions dispensed per 100 persons per year. While the United States’ dispensing rate peaked at 81.3 in 2012, the Kenai Peninsula’s rate was 100 or higher every year between 2001 and 2015. Graphic by Ashlyn O’Hara.
Borough creates grant program to distribute opioid settlement funds

The Kenai Peninsula Borough will offer hundreds of thousands of dollars in… Continue reading

Alaska Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer speaks during a press conference announcing the administration’s push for changes to the state’s election system on Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021, in Anchorage, Alaska. (Photo courtesy Kevin Goodman, State of Alaska)
Just 2 Alaska lieutenant governor candidates say 2020 presidential vote was fair

Alaska’s lieutenant governor will oversee the 2024 presidential election

Kenai Peninsula School District Superintendent Clayton Holland stand near the entrance to the district’s Soldotna offices on Thursday, March 17, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Academics, staff recruitment among district priorities for upcoming school year

The superintendent is ready to see KPBSD return to the district’s pre-COVID-19 academic performance

Raymond Bradbury preserves his salmon while dipnetting in the mouth of the Kenai River on Saturday, July 10, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion file)
Personal use harvest reports due Monday

Northern Kenai fishing report

Evelyn Cooley competes in the barrel race at the Kenai Peninsula Fair on Aug. 12, 2022, in Ninilchik, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Music, magic, daredevils and pigs

Kenai Peninsula Fair brings an assortment of activities to Ninilchik

Most Read