The city of Kenai is preparing its fiscal year 2021 budget with several areas of economic strength but still will likely need to implement a tax increase or user fees to make up for the loss in state support for capital projects.

Kenai Mayor Brian Gabriel and City Manager Paul Ostrander gave a presentation on the city’s budget last week.

There were several bright spots. Sales tax revenue continues an upward trend. The city’s 3 percent tax rate generates about $244 million, with sales tax revenue making up 54 percent of the city budget. That number should increase even more next year when online sales are taxed, as well.

Property tax is about 29 percent of the city’s budget, with a 4.35 mill rate. But money from the state has declined precipitously in recent years. Shared revenue, mostly in the form of fish taxes, is holding steady, while community revenue sharing funds have been considerably reduced and are likely to drop another $100,000 this year.

Ostrander says the biggest hit is in capital projects.

ECON 919 - Mayoral candidates talk taxes, annexation

Dec 6, 2019


This week, the city of Soldotna will hold a special election for mayor on December 17th. The election comes a little more than three months after the unexpected death of former mayor Dr. Nels Anderson. Two candidates are in the race, former mayor Pete Sprague and Charlene Tautfest. They took on a range of local economic questions at a forum this week sponsored by the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce. 



Assembly approves fall ballot measures

Aug 7, 2019


The fall ballot for borough elections is beginning to take shape. The assembly tackled a number of ordinances that, if approved would have sent some important questions to the ballot for voters to decide.



Municipal League looks to collect online sales taxes

Jan 2, 2019


Alaska’s ongoing budget struggles don’t appear to have any quick or easy solutions. Those problems continue to trickle down to cities and boroughs, which are picking up a bigger share of operating costs every year. But the Alaska Municipal League is trying to give local governments a new source of revenue.

With the end of the calendar year approaching some folks are already thinking about tax season. Again this year the AARP is partnering with the Soldotna Library to bring free tax preparation to the masses. Local coordinator Eddie Ranson explains.

“The program provides for, it’s designated for elderly and low income, but nobody is turned away. If you don’t fit in those two categories you can still come and have your taxes done," she said.