SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Serious questions about the missing $200,000 of Borough money
By Mary Lynne Dahl


April 27, 2007

To the Editor:

I, too, have been outraged by the unpaid $200,000 owed to the Borough by Mr. Jenkins and his veneer mill bunch. I could not agree more that we have some very serious questions and need some very straight answers, now.

The story as reported in the Daily News stated clearly that because no interest was paid for 6 months as agreed to, this deal was in default. A failure to disclose a loan in default to an inquiring lender is dishonest and fraudulent, indeed. To make matters worse, the Borough was an accomplice in this fraud and had no business agreeing to this request.

In addition, since the interest that was not paid was, in fact, earned and credited somewhere else, why is it not possible to reverse those credited amounts and pay the Borough immediately? We don't need some flakey double-talk of an excuse on this; we need this reversal to simply be done. This is only an accounting transaction, not rocket science. Banks are quite capable of correcting this kind of error, regardless of why it happened (which is another question).

This now begs yet another question: why should the Borough forgive the payment and accept some ridiculous promise to catch up or other scheme to make the interest good over a period of additional months? The Borough does not do this for any of its own citizens, does it?

No, it does not; in fact, you had better not be late on a sales tax payment due. I quote the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Combined City and Borough Sales Tax Report as follows: Full payment (sales taxes) must accompany this report. The tax imposed shall be payable at the end of each quarter of the calendar year, and shall be due not later than one month after expiration of the quarter immediately preceding, beyond which time it shall be delinquent.

And what if you do not pay on time? Guess what, you pay penalties and interest! Again I quote the Sales Tax Report: Penalty 6% of tax due the first 5 working days delinquent, 15% thereafter, plus 5% per month until 25% has accrued. Interest 12% per annum from date of delinquency until paid. Think about that: up to 25% in penalties and 12% in interest; that's 37% total!

Why, then, if we as residents, are penalized so heavily for being late with payment of sales taxes, should Mr. Jenkins be favored instead of penalized in like manner?

Get real here, folks; not only was the Borough too dumb to notice that $30,000 per month was missing for 6 months, but also wants to help this guy out by lying to a lender, and on top of that, agree to some rinky-dink excuse for why the bank won't simply reverse those interest payments, and to top it all off, allow all of this without penalties or interest on the amounts unpaid!

I am appalled and astounded that so few people seem to see the red flags in all of this. This kind of thing only happens as a result of incompetence or connivance. Which is it here? What is really going on? Is this an attempt to misappropriate public money, or do a dishonest deal, or is it simply gross negligence on the part of the Borough?

Whatever it is, it is time to fix it now and make it right. No excuses, no more song and dance. Mr. Jenkins needs to pay the money owed, plus penalties for being late, and interest on the money not paid on time. Just like the rest of us. As a taxpayer, I demand it and so should the rest of you.

Mary Lynne Dahl
Ketchikan, AK

Received April 27, 2007 - Published April 27, 2007

About: "Certified Financial Planner, former banker, concerned citizen."


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Ketchikan, Alaska