On Tuesday evening, the Mat-Su Borough Assembly will consider whether to put a three-percent sales tax within the Talkeetna Sewer and Water service area on the borough’s October ballot.
The sewer and water system has operated at a deficit for years, and has had to take out money from the borough’s revolving loan fund. In addition, the sewer lagoon was out of compliance for a significant period of time. While the testing numbers from the lagoon have improved in the last year, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation is currently in closed-door talks with the borough about how to handle the violations. That could result in addition capital costs.
Both locals and borough officials have acknowledged that making the system solvent with the user fees of fewer than 200 customers is difficult, and perhaps unrealistic.
Borough Assembly Member Randall Kowalke has proposed the three-percent sales tax for the service area to cover the current fiscal gap and build capital funds. The idea of a sales tax saw approval from the Talkeetna Community Council, the Talkeetna Chamber of Commerce, and the Talkeetna Sewer and Water Advisory Board.
The Assembly meets at 6:00 pm on Tuesday in Palmer. If the ordinance passes, residents living within the sewer and water district will have the final say on the sales tax on October 3rd.