Mat-Su Borough Election This Week. Tuesday Oct 7, 2008

The overwhelming national and state election news is liable wipe this weeks local election out of our consciousness.  Local elections usually effect us more than national ones do. 

It is important not to ignore this upcoming election. 

Here are a few things on the ballot:

  • Road Improvements.  These will be financed by bonds that will be backed by taxes on your property.  The borough is asking for the state to provide 70% of the cost with the borough property owners footing 30% of the bill.  The assembly will not sell the bonds unless the state provides their 70%.    The cost to property owners will be a little over $30 per year for an average $200,000 home. If you are for better roads and don’t mind paying the extra tax…vote yes.   Read more 
  • Repeal Electrical Generation Permit  A few years ago the borough passed an ordinance requiring a permit to be granted before any electrical power plant in excess of 50 megawatts can be built.  This is a very restrictive permit process that significantly raises the cost of building a power plant.  This propostion would repeal the permit requirement.  If you want to pay less for your electricity…vote yes.
  • School Building Improvements.  This is another bond proposal asking for $19 million to improve the safety of the school sites and upgrade some school buildings and sites.  It qualifies for a 70% state debt reimbursement so it will cost about $14 per year for the average homeowner. 
  • School Board Election.  Vote for Pat Purcell.  Other candidates are un-opposed.
  • Borough Assembly Election All the candidates are running un-opposed?  What’s with that?

Here is the borough election pamphlet to read more.

I wonder how the bonds will sell in this financial market.  Bonds are backed by property taxes.  Property taxes are based on two things, the value of the property taxed, and the mill rate that the local government charges on those values.

While we have not had declining values in our area yet, other parts of the country have seen drastic declines.  That could raise questions about the stability of municipal bonds.  We have to sell bonds on the global market and I’m not sure how good that market will be.  It may be time for the borough to start thinking about alternative methods of funding these large capital projects.