More relief for property owners is up for debate at the Ketchikan borough assembly’s next meeting Monday.
The measure would allow taxpayers to pay this year’s property tax bill in two installments. The split would happen automatically — no application required. Half of this year’s property taxes would be due September 30, as they usually are. The other half would be due at the end of March next year.
The measure is an attempt to lessen property owners’ immediate financial burden in the wake of the pandemic-fueled recession.
In other business, the assembly will consider a few tweaks to the borough’s election rules. Borough officials expect an uptick in absentee ballots this fall given the pandemic.
One of the measures would allow the borough clerk to run a regular election by mail. Special elections by mail are already allowed.
The five-word change to the borough code doesn’t commit the borough to running October’s municipal election by mail. But it opens the door for a by-mail election, if the assembly chose at a later date.
As it stands, borough officials say they expect to open polling booths for October’s municipal election.
Another proposed change would allow election officials extra time to count absentee ballots. Also included is a measure that would simplify the process for voters to cast ballots early.
And another change would allow the borough clerk to appoint students 16 and older as paid staff for polling places.
The assembly will also consider $330,000 or so in grants to local nonprofits approved by the borough’s grants committee. It’s about $30,000 ($33,106) less than the amount the assembly set aside for nonprofits in this year’s budget.
Ketchikan’s borough assembly meets at 5:30 p.m. Monday in the White Cliff building. Residents can offer testimony at the beginning of the meeting or email written comments to the clerk’s office at email@example.com.