Assembly balances budget

Downtown Juneau

Downtown Juneau. (Photo by Sam Beebe/Flickr Creative Commons)

The Juneau Assembly has balanced next year’s budget through cuts and a slight property tax increase – though the total mill rate stays the same.

Meeting as the Finance Committee Wednesday night, the Assembly approved requests from social services to youth activities then instructed the city manager to reduce some line items to avoid a mill rate increase.

Hours at the city-owned swimming pools and Mount Jumbo Gym will be reduced – at times when use is already low.  The City Public Works Department will consolidate some positions, Parks and Recreation will reduce the number of portable toilets and garbage cans in remote parks; City Manager Kim Kiefer selected from a list of suggested reductions made by department heads, finding more than 265-thousand dollars in savings.

Assembly member Karen Crane chairs the Finance Committee.  She said the Assembly tried to take cuts in areas with the least impact on the public.

Crane said the total mill rate will remain at 10.66 mills.

“There is a small increase in debt service, which we must fund, and that will be point .11.  That is the only increase in mill rate for next year.  The Assembly brought the mill rate back down for the operational budget back down to the FY 13 level,” Crane said.

The impact of the .11  increase on property tax depends on property assessments.

“If your assessed valuation went up your property tax goes up.   If your assessed valuation went down than your property tax will go down,” Crane said. 

The final budget document will come before the Assembly at its regular meeting on June 3rd.  The new fiscal year begins July 1st.