SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska



One if By Land...
By Dave Kiffer


February 17, 2006
Friday PM

Al Johnson is right to raise the issue of the senior property tax exemption.

But another side to that issue is that the state created the exemption but then made it an unfunded mandate by refusing the appropriate the money to reminburse local governments.

Currently, the Ketchikan Gateway Borough has to come up with some $600,000 a year to cover the "loss" of that tax revenue (similarly, the senior sales tax exemption "costs" the borough around $700,000).

Personally, I don't see those as "lost" revenues because it is more important to make it possible for our pioneers to remain in the communities that they helped build. I also believe that seniors remaining in Ketchikan benefit our economy to a greater extent than the tax revenues would.

Rather than moving to make the tax a "local option" I'd prefer to see the Legislature moving to support Rep. Elkin's efforts to make the state fund the "unfunded" mandate.

Dave Kiffer
Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assemblymember
Ketchikan, AK - USA


Related Viewpoint:

letter One if by land, Two if by Sea!! By A.M.Johnson - Ketchikan, AK - USA


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Ketchikan, Alaska