The Regular Municipal Election for the Kenai Peninsula Borough is on October 6th. There will be four propositions going to the ballot but only one of them will be considered by all borough residents. The other three are tied to borough service areas. Who votes on what proposition depends on the service area residents live in. KBBI’s Quinton Chandler has more on the 2015 Ballot Propositions.
Proposition No. 1 is perhaps the most controversial of the upcoming ballot questions. All residents in the Kenai Peninsula Borough will have the opportunity to vote for or against the repeal of Kenai Peninsula Borough Ordinance 2008-28. The ordinance empowers General Law cities within the borough to levy their own sales tax on non-prepared foods between the months of September through May. If the ordinance is repealed General Law cities would have no choice but to accept the borough’s sales tax exemption on non-prepared foods through the winter months and forgo that potential sales tax revenue. Homer, Soldotna, and Seldovia are the only cities that would be affected by this ordinance. Kenai and Seward are Home Rule cities, which have the power to levy their own taxes regardless of borough tax law. A majority “yes” vote on this measure will repeal the ordinance in question. A majority “no” vote will allow the ordinance to stay in place. Proposition No. 2 will be decided by voters living inside of a proposed law enforcement service area for Nikiski. A number of Nikiski residents pressured the borough to provide the community with its own law enforcement to deal with a recent rash of criminal activity. The proposed service area boundary is the same as the current boundary for the Nikiski Fire Service Area. A map of the proposed service area is available in the Kenai Peninsula Borough 2015 Voter Pamphlet. A majority “yes” vote will give the borough authority to create the law enforcement service area. A majority “no” vote means the service area will not be established. Ballot Proposition No. 3 is a question of whether to expand the boundaries of the Anchor Point Fire and Emergency Medical Service Area so that it includes a portion of Cook Inlet. All residents living within the current and the proposed service area will have the opportunity to vote on this measure. The expansion would bring some offshore facilities such as oil and gas properties inside the service area. According to the 2015 Voter Pamphlet changing the boundary would not affect the 20 mill tax rate oil and gas property owners pay to the state and subsequently shared with local governments. A majority “yes” vote would approve the expansion while a majority “no” vote would oppose it. A map of the expanded service area is available in the voter pamphlet. And lastly Ballot Proposition No. 4 will ask all residents living inside the Central Emergency Service Area whether they would approve a bond issue of up to $4,400,000. The funds raised would go towards purchasing emergency response vehicles for the service area. The service area board proposes that the bonds be issued in at least two phases with a little less than half of the funds borrowed in 2016 and the other half in 2018. According to the 2015 Voter Pamphlet the estimate for yearly debt payments is about $440,000. A majority “yes” vote will approve the bond issue and a majority “no” vote would oppose it. Election Day is October 6th.