FNSB Assembly passes budget with property tax increase

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska The Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly passed a budget for the 2019 to 2020 fiscal year in a vote of 8 to 1.

The Assembly passed a budget that is dependent on what the final budget is from the legislature and Governor Mike Dunleavy.

In the Governor's proposed budget, school debt reimbursement was removed which if passed in the legislature's budget, would result in a little over $9 million dollars the borough has to cover.

Throughout the Assembly's discussion, they debated what the best way to fund that payment with the least impact to the taxpayers.

Two amendments were passed, one which would take close to 1.5 million dollars that is in excess of the target reserve amount and put it towards tax relief to lower the property tax rate.

The other amendment says that the amount not reimbursed by the legislature will be paid back with 25- percent taken out of the borough's general fund, while the other 75% would be paid for by a property tax increase.

The high end of the possible increase is close to $120 more per $100,000 value of property owned.

The House proposed funding the school debt reimbursements by 50% and the Senate proposed funding them by 100%, although the Governor also has veto power.