SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


KGB Budget Review
By Glen Thompson


April 21, 2007

I have briefly reviewed the General Fund budget proposed by Borough staff for the next fiscal year and this is what it looks like to me:

Last year, the Assembly required staff to reduce the General Fund budget appropriations by 1% or a mere $168,000. Six months later, staff presented (and the Assembly approved) budget amendments increasing appropriations by $181,000. Net affect: spending increased!

To make matters worse, staff's estimate of revenue was overstated by $650,000 and they overspent the amended budget by $50,000.

At budget time last year, we were predicting an ending fund balance of approximately $2,075,000 to start this year. In reality, we actually started this year at only about $1,425,000 yet another $650,000 erroneous revenue estimate in the 05/06 fiscal year.

The predicted General Fund reserve balance in the fund will dwindle to a dangerous level of only $700,000 by July 1 of this year. In two years time our reserves have shrunk by $1.3 million due to erroneous revenue estimates.

This year, staff wants to increase property taxes by $1 million keeping the same mil rate while the assessments went up 15%, that's a 14.4% increase for those of you who own property. The beauty in this is some may claim that we aren't raising taxes since the mil rate doesn't change.

They want to increase General Fund spending by $700,000 and cut school funding by $380,000 ($700,000 below the predicted cap) and this wonderful budget will allow our fund reserves to recover back to almost $1 million (half of what they have said reserves should be for the past two years).

Staff has missed their estimates by $1.5 million over the past two years.

They are unable to control spending.

Their solution is to cut school funding and raise taxes.

Does anyone but me see a problem here?

Glen Thompson
Ketchikan, AK

P.S. The mil rate would be set at 6.3 to avoid a tax increase.

Received April 20, 2007 - Published April 21, 2007

About: Glen Thompson is a member of the Ketchikan Borough Assembly.



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