In a rare move, Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Mike Navarre exercised his veto power and shot down the proposed 3% bed tax which would have gone to voters this October.
Mayor Navarre explained why he vetoed it.
Navarre: “First of all I don’t like dedicated taxes to begin with and I think that the different priorities ought to compete with everything else in the budget process for funding, so I don’t like dedicated funds. Also I think that raising 1.7 or 1.8 in a bed tax for what is a funding level currently that is $300,000 was inefficient and I think that people within the cities and the councils within the cities ought to make their own decisions about whether a bed tax ought to be implemented in their cities.”
He added that he heard overwhelmingly from Homer voters that they didn’t want the tax, but were concerned that constituents in other cities would approve the proposal and leave them no choice.
Mayor Navarre said he had mixed feelings about the tax, but would prefer an alternative which left more choice to individual cities. The Borough may move to allow home rule cities to implement their own bed taxes, or simply continue to fund tourism marketing through their existing budget.