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Education funding, mill rate not yet set as Kodiak Borough Assembly works on FY’25 budget

Kodiak Island Borough
Kodiak Island Borough budget worksheet page from FY'2025 draft budget.

A draft version of the fiscal year 2025 budget for the Kodiak Island Borough includes an increase in funding for the local school district. It also includes a potential reduction of the mill rate, which is a calculation of local property taxes. Currently the mill rate for the borough areawide is 10.25 mills.

Borough Manager Aimee Williams proposed a version of the budget for the upcoming year, which included adjustments for a lower mill rate. However, the exact mill rate has not been given at this time, as Williams explained at a Borough Assembly meeting on May 16.

“The only part that doesn’t have the numbers filled out yet is going to be lines 47 through 52 when we’re talking about the educational support fund because we haven’t set how much money that is going to be yet and so we can’t determine that mill rate,” Williams said.

The property tax roll was certified earlier this month for fiscal year 2025 and includes a total taxable roll for real property and personal property of $1,833,644,622 with real property equaling $1,665,595,529 out of that amount. That means KIB’s max allowable property tax revenue, or MAPTR, is also set for the upcoming fiscal year. Property tax revenue in FY’2025 cannot exceed what was collected in FY’2024, putting FY’2025’s MAPTR at $16,144,487.

Thursday, May 16, all Borough Assembly members voted to move the proposed budget forward to a public hearing during its next regular meeting on June 6. But the assembly will still be able to amend and cut funding as the FY’2025 budget process goes on.

As for the Kodiak Island Borough School District’s request of $12,316,558, Superintendent Cyndy Mika asked the assembly to fully fund local education. She said the district has already cut over $4 million, which included removing almost 45 staff positions, from its expenses and was accounting for an increase to the base student allocation [BSA] from the State Legislature, which didn’t happen.

“But outside of these cuts, what people don’t see is that we were unable to fund the additional requests made by campus administrators and departments, that we usually fund with our fund balance, because we are using our fund balance to balance the budget,” Mika explained.

Mika added that the school district used $2.7 million out of its fund budget to balance the FY’2025 budget it sent to the Kodiak Island Borough. Some of those requests include a more than $2 million technology update for the district, and hundreds of thousands of dollars for new cafeteria tables and auditorium lights.

The draft budget put together by Manager Williams includes $12,577,465 for the entire education support fund and $11,666,558 as a place holder for the school district. The Borough Assembly is scheduled to vote on how much of the school district’s request it will fund during a special session on May 30. Then a proposed mill rate can be added into the FY’2025 budget draft in time for the Borough Assembly’s next regular meeting.

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