May 16, 2012

Think About It……….                                        May 16, 2012

Well….It’s that time of year again. Our Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly is just about ready to allocate funding for Borough operations in Fiscal Year 2013.  That means that the Assembly is getting ready to spend tax dollars, tax money from you and from me.

Right now the funding Ordinance is calling for an expenditure of just over $73 million dollars for general borough government operations, school operations, capital projects, health insurance and money for payment of bonds and interest. These are all legitimate expenditures for our Borough government and you may want to argue about the amount of money to be appropriated but at least most of the budget items are all good and proper uses for our tax money.

However, many of us are wondering where in the Borough budget are those expenditures which have nothing to do with the operation of our Borough Government.

For many years now our Borough Assembly has made donations of taxpayer dollars to several non-profit organizations.  The Assembly has annually in their budget given donations to the Central Area Transit System, The Kenai Peninsula College, The Economic Development District, The Small Business Development Center and the Tourism and Marketing Council. Earlier this year, outside of their budget, the Assembly donated $100,000 of your tax dollars to the Kenai Watershed Forum for what they said was for culvert restoration but they could actually spend the money any way they so desired.

Many taxpayers are concerned about the Borough Assemblies practice of making these donations to non-Borough organizations. In fact, earlier this year voters sent a resounding “No” to an Assembly promoted .1% sales tax to fund these organizations.

Many taxpayers suspect that the reason these annual donations are not listed in the current proposed Fiscal Year appropriations is that they plan to sneak it into the budget at the last moment several weeks down the line.

The big question is “How could any Assembly person, in their own mind, vote to donate our tax dollars to organizations not even under Borough jurisdiction”. Each  of these organizations have their own board of directors and agendas over whom the Borough Assembly or Borough Mayor have no control at all”?

Think About It!     JCD   5-16-2012

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