In this 2019 file photo, the seal of the Ketchikan Gateway Borough is shown on display in the borough assembly chambers. (Eric Stone/KRBD)

Ketchikan’s Borough Assembly unanimously approved their budget for next year, which includes slightly reduced property taxes.

The budget projects the borough’s government funding at around $83 million to start the fiscal year. Notably, the approved budget includes a reduction in the property tax rate for borough residents, in the amount of about .5 mills. 

The mill rate is the instrument used to measure property tax. One mill equals 1 property tax dollar for every $1,000 dollars of a given property’s assessed value. That means if a house is worth $500,000, the approved mill rate cut would save the owner a little over $200 per year.  

Borough mayor Rodney Dial said the reduction of the property tax rate to 4.75 mills was meant to cushion the blow for Ketchikan property owners of an upcoming hike in assessed property values. 

“I would just like to publicly thank staff for presenting the budget that actually reduces the tax rate. I think that’s to be commended, especially because we hear so many of our citizens are having difficulty affording groceries and housing,” Dial said at the borough assembly meeting last Monday.

The budget approval came on the heels of the Assembly voting to approve a $2.3 million boost to the Ketchikan School District to close out the year. The district had requested additional funds to cover unforeseen expenses for payroll and other costs.