August 28th, 2013

Think About It……..                                                                               August 28. 2013

Many of us have never understood why our Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly refuses to raise our Borough Property Tax Rate to the maximum of 20 mils. It just makes good dollars and cents.

Now, before you get all upset and excited, let’s take a good look, and see if it does make “cents”.

Everyone wants to pay lower taxes.  At least I have never run into anyone, property owner or otherwise who wants to pay higher taxes.  So, here is the question you’re wanting to ask:

How would raising our property taxes to 20 mils, the maximum allowed by state law, lower the property taxes of every local residential real property owner on the Kenai Peninsula????

And that is a great question.

You see our average real property tax mil rate is just a little over 11 mils. That includes those folks living both inside and outside all our first class cities. That’s 11 miles.  All the real property owned by the oil and gas industry is taxed at 20 mils by the State. So that means that 9 mils of property taxes paid by the oil and gas companies, by-passes the Borough, and goes directly to the State of Alaska. The dollars that 9 mils of property tax generates, and is then siphoned off by the State, is a huge amount of money that leaves our Borough for good. The good of the state that is!

Residents of the Kenai Peninsula Borough need to recapture all that tax money. All of that 9 mils the Oil and Gas companies pay every year. Keep it here at home for our Borough services, BUT not before we all get together and pass Proposition #1.  Prop #1 will give all residential property owners a tax exemption of $50,000.

Studies by the Finance Department of our Borough show that if we were to pass Proposition #1 and give residential property owners that $50,000 property tax exemption and then if our Borough Assembly raised the property tax rate to the maximum 20 mil limit…..

Almost all property owners will pay lower property taxes!   You can take that to the bank! Only a property valuation of more than $700,000 would pay a slightly higher tax.  

Now, remember that all of us get to vote on and pass the $50,000 residential real property tax exemption this fall, but the problem we face is our members of the Borough Assembly. They and they alone can change our real property tax rate to 20 mils. We residents are not allowed to vote on that.

So, why if that move would reduce the Borough Property Taxes we pay each year, won’t the Assembly increase the Borough mil rate to the maximum 20 mils?  Probably, because it is just politically too hard to inform their constituents….(a 20 mil tax sounds pretty bad)….to get them to understand that an increase in the tax mil rate will save them all money. It’s a concept just too hard for their constituents, you and me, to understand. Very sad, but that is the way it is.

Think About It!      8-28-13

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