Local News

Council OK’s tax hike; grants for nonprofits

The Ketchikan City Council voted Thursday to finalize the months-long process leading to a year-round half-percent sales tax increase.

There had been discussion of a seasonal sales tax, to take advantage of the busy summer tourist season, but the majority of the Council eventually decided that would be challenging for business owners. Thursday’s vote established a new, full-time 4 percent sales tax, starting April 1.

The new sales tax will increase the city’s revenue this year by about $900,000.

Also Thursday, the Council finalized this year’s distribution of grant funding for local nonprofit agencies.

In the 2014 budget, the Council had set aside $358,000 for nonprofit grants, but the committee that distributes those funds came up with a recommended distribution that fell slightly short of that amount. During its Feb. 6 meeting, the City Council decided to fund all the agencies at the 2013 level, rather than accept the recommendation. But, they found out later that doing so would require about $2,000 more.

The Council chose a new path during Thursday’s meeting. Members decided to split the amount of money left from the original $358,000 appropriation between the homeless shelter and Southeast Senior Services, rather than add more to that part of the budget.

The next Ketchikan City Council meeting is March 6.

Recent News

School Board to consider last-minute teacher hires

Houghtaling
The Ketchikan School Board on Wednesday night will consider new teacher positions at two elementary schools and technology purchases for the Alaska Digital Academy. more

KPU resolving issues with Whitman generators

The Whitman Lake dam. (Alaska Energy Authority photo)
Ketchikan’s newest source of hydroelectric power at Whitman Lake is at least a few weeks away from completion. While most of the work is done, both generators have issues that need to be resolved before Whitman can start adding its 4.6 megawatts to the city-owned Ketchikan Public Utilities electric grid. more