SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Taxes, round two
By Rodney Dial


June 11, 2011

Council Member West indicated that the tax increase the Ketchikan City Council passed will result in a $25 increase for the owner of an average home. In my letter I reported that the tax increase would result in a $250.00 increase.

For your information, I based my estimate on the news article Council Ups City Mill Rate dated 6-3-11, in the Ketchikan Daily News Paper. This story, and I quote, stated the following:

"City property owners will pay a little more in taxes this year after the Ketchikan City Council voted 4-3 Thursday to increase the city's mill rate from 6.1 to 6.2, which is a tenth of a mill more, or $100 more per $100,000 assessed value."

The average home in Ketchikan is valued at approximately $250k. If the tax increase is $100 per $100k of assessed value (as reported by the KDN), then the tax increase for the average home is $250.00. Considering that the City Mayor is the Publisher of the paper (KDN), then either you are wrong, or the Mayor / KDN is. Looks like the paper got this wrong, but hard to tell as they haven't owned up to a mistake.

In any regards, it appears to be your intent, as well as the desire of fellow assembly members, Jack Shay, KJ Harris, and Bob Sivertsen to continue increasing taxes. I base that belief on the statement of Council Member Shay in the 6/2 meeting at which he said that increasing property taxes gradually was the responsible thing to do.

Beg to differ Mrs. West, but the responsible thing to do in these economic times is to reduce spending, not raise taxes. That statement really shows Shay s total disconnect with reality. Perhaps both of you should talk to the young adults in this town who can barely afford to live here now, making $10 an hour on average, and paying sales tax on their rent.

I can assure you that a majority of people like me are sick of arrogant local leaders not listening to the majority, and instead listening to special interests, who let's face it, will never think our taxes are too high.

Assuming that West, Shay, Harris and Sivertsen represent all citizens, would one of you do me the favor of answering the following questions?:

• What is the current total non profit funding?
• How much was spent by the City and Borough on the legislative meetings/ parties over the last few years? Total cost please, travel, lodging, perdiem, personnel costs, food, alcohol, lobbying, printing, etc?
• Which council members claim sales tax and property tax exemptions?
• How high do you feel the mill rate will go before the council has the collective courage to live within its means and hold the line on spending?
• What do the average people and businesses need to do to get the same consideration that the non-profits and special interests do?

Rodney Dial
Ketchikan, AK

About: "Local taxpayer and business owner."

Received June 10, 2011 - Published June 11, 2011


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Ketchikan, Alaska