Assembly to take public comments on city, school budgets

Juneau has two House districts. Neither Democratic Rep. Beth Kerttula nor Republican Rep. Cathy Muñoz face opposition. But they’ve still gotten a lot of campaign contributions.

The Juneau Assembly will take public comments tonight on the proposed city and school district budgets for next fiscal year.

The spending plan submitted by City Manager Kim Kiefer calls for about $236 million dollars to keep the city and borough running in fiscal year 2014 – up about two percent from the current year.

However, the proposed budget includes a small property tax increase authorized by the Assembly a year ago, which some members would now like to see reversed. If they get their way, the Assembly would have to cut about a million dollars in projected spending.

The proposed Juneau School District operating budget of nearly $94 million dollars is up about three percent from this year. The plan includes about $24 million in local support from the city – the maximum allowed under state law. The rest of the district’s funding comes largely from state and federal sources.

Though both budgets are on the Assembly agenda for public comment, neither will be voted on tonight. The Assembly Finance Committee is in the middle of a series of budget hearings, expected to last through next month. After taking comments, the full Assembly will refer the budgets back the finance committee to continue those deliberations.

The new fiscal year doesn’t start until July 1st. The full Assembly has until May 31st to appropriate the school district budget and until June 15th to adopt the city’s operating budget.

Tonight’s meeting gets underway at 7 p.m. in City Hall Assembly Chambers. It can be heard live on KTOO-FM.

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