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Proposition 1 will provide tax relief for resident homeowners

Posted: September 22, 2013 - 11:46am  |  Updated: September 22, 2013 - 9:10pm

Editor’s note: Letters to the editor pertaining to the Oct. 1 municipal election should be submitted by Wedensday, Sept. 25, to ensure publication prior to the election.

 

This letter is in response to Nikiski Fire Service Board members statements against Proposition One.

The tax relief provided by Proposition One represents a very small percentage of the overall budget, which has been more than offset by growth of the overall economy. While the data provided to argue against Proposition One was factually true, the failure to compare the total budget picture against the “losses” is very misleading and does not promote an honest debate of this issue.

For example, the North Peninsula Recreation Service Area property tax revenue is over $1.4 million. Their “Tax Revenue Loss” of $27,124 is a relatively small 1.8 percent of total tax revenue. To infer that such a cut is significant is a gross exaggeration of the facts.

The Borough’s ratio of “Tax Revenue Loss” is similarly diminutive. The message conveyed by reporting a $1.3 million “Tax Revenue Loss” vs. a total reduction in property tax revenue of less than 3 percent is very different.

Annual tax increases in most service area budgets have been much greater than their estimated “tax loss” from Proposition One.

Annual Tax savings for each resident homeowner within service areas include: Nikiski $300.60; Anchor Point $313.50; Kasilof $257.10; Ninilchik $246.00. City residents will save from $135.60 to $215.10 each year.

The Nikiski Fire Service Area budget is over $4 million, while their “loss” is less than $79,000. Based on the data provided by the Mayor’s office, the “loss” represents less than 2 percent of their annual property tax income. Again, that’s not a substantial financial loss.

Don’t be misled by an incomplete story. Boroughwide annual tax revenue increases have exceeded the tax relief provided by Proposition One.

It is true that commercial and industrial property owners will pickup a slightly larger portion of the Borough tax liability with the bulk of that coming from oil and gas properties which are already taxed at the state imposed maximum of 20.0 mils. Proposition One will return more oil and gas taxes from the state to the borough with no tax increase for anyone.

Proposition One will achieve a fair, equitable and appropriate level of taxation for all homeowners with no loss of borough service.

Please learn all the facts and vote yes on Proposition One.

James Price

Alaskans for Property Tax Relief Now

 

 

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JohnPeterZenger
731
Points
JohnPeterZenger 09/22/13 - 10:24 pm
2
5
Save a little, cost much much more.

Degraded or defunded fire service will result in many hundreds of dollars of additional fire insurance premium being paid.

So, save two or three hundred, end up paying double or triple that.

Great deal, James.

You and your armchair ideologues can stay out of my pocket.

Your play-acting at politics will cost people more than what you claim will be saved.

Asked about the hidden costs involved in Prop 1 and Fred Sturman said, "We didn't worry about that'.

Nope, why worry about what it costs others so they can play act at politics? They're interested in pushing their libertarian ideology and they don't care if it ends up costing residents more than they might save under this Prop 1 charade.

Vote NO on Prop 1, it will cost more than any negligible amount you might save.

Public policy is no place for people who don't worry about cause and effect. People who don't bother to think their proposals through and see how they actually will impact other's lives.

Vote No, Prop 1 Simply put, Prop 1 isn't about seeing that residents get sound public policy, Prop 1 is ideological posturing, it's political play-acting, it's anything but sound public policy. Vote No, Prop 1 is nonsensical.

Suss
3054
Points
Suss 09/23/13 - 11:58 am
4
1
The sky is burning

Chicken Little and the end of fire service. What is next in scare tactics?....."You all want your neighbors to burn to death"...... It is not going to happen. Your rates will not change because of the prop 1 vote. The quoted reductions in fire insurance had to do with NO FIRE SERVICE, being compared to having fire service at Kasilof and Funny River stations when they came on line. Try a little honesty when the ill-informed try to inform.

James Price
116
Points
James Price 09/23/13 - 01:48 pm
3
2
Proposition One is good for our community!

Proposition One will not degrade ANY service area. To make that claim is like saying I need to add oil to my engine, so I must buy a new $30,000 automobile.

Those are the kind of solutions and claimed outcomes that those who speak against Prop One use.

We need to promote candidates to run for Service Areas that represent the people and not the exclusive interests of borough employees. Those who use half-truths to justify the maximum budget size, without regard for the taxpayers they are elected to serve should be unelected.

Find the facts... VOTE YES for Proposition One.

If anyone wants to have the document, produced by the Borough Mayor's office, that reveals the actual real world impact of Proposition One, I'll send you a copy of it. Either email me at jpriceak@gmail.com OR email the Mayor's office.

In this case, while the truth may not set you free, it could help you understand why it's in your best interest to receive YOUR (up to) $313.50 dollar reduction in property tax bills EVERY YEAR.

James Price
116
Points
James Price 09/23/13 - 02:38 pm
3
2
Vote YES for Prop One: Fire service funding is VERY healthy

Reducing the Nikiski Fire SA total property tax revenue by less than 2% does not represent an action that would degrade or de-fund this Service Area.

Fear-mongering and stating misleading facts to confuse the underlying issues related to Proposition One are tactics used by people who simply want to keep EVERY penny and who claim the NEED for more tax dollars at every opportunity.

There will be no NEED to close any fire station, thus no increase in private insurance charges, and no real or significant "hidden" charges.

We have too many people serving on our Service Area boards who actually receive their income and/or retirement benefits from Borough government. They favor big government and large budgets. And they VOTE.

The local citizens will receive a direct tax reduction up to $313.50 every year, which is essentially a reduction in assessment increases that each homeowner have experienced over the last few years.

Your Borough Assembly will not roll back taxes. They had the opportunity to provide this tax break for local homeowners and they declined to act. If you want to build more government buildings, create more government departments to solve all our problems, hire more government employees, etc., then you probably won't favor Proposition One. If you believe that we currently fund local government adequately, you will likely favor this modest tax savings for resident homeowners.

If you want ALL the facts regarding the true fiscal impact, I am happy to share the rest of the story (that the Borough Assembly didn't choose to reveal). You can get this information directly from the Mayor's office or email me at jpriceak@gmail.com and I will email you a scanned copy.

Learn the facts and VOTE. Those who want to spend your tax dollars will do so.

Please vote YES on Proposition One.

JohnPeterZenger
731
Points
JohnPeterZenger 09/23/13 - 09:39 pm
2
5
No, increases in premiums are not tied just to closures.

Seemingly trivial reductions can have serious consequences on ratings and ratings drops of even one or two points can raise your fire insurance premiums by several hundred dollars a year.

It's not something that's not known, it's happened within a number of fire service areas already.

If someone says you have to have a closure before premiums can be impacted, they are not speaking the truth. Being untruthful, especially to do so in the name of political play-acting can have very serious consequences.

These play actors don't care, they aren't going to guarantee or step up and pay the hidden costs. They're interested in pushing their ideology and they don't care if you are disadvantaged in the process.

Questions? Call your fire insurance agent and ask them what happens if your ratings go down because of loss of some services.

Call the ratings agency and ask them what criteria they use to rate your insurance risk and fix your premiums. Ask them what happens when they evaluate services and see degraded or cuts in services.

Call the local chiefs and ask them what happens to the ratings and premiums if they cut back on services.

The truth is that it can cost you dearly. It's not just upon closures. That's simply an untruth.

You can listen to those play acting at politics, you can listen to a line of arm chair libertarian dogma, or you can inform yourself so you don't end up on the losing end of some people play-acting at politics.

Our community has worked long and hard to get good, affordable public services. Today we have affordable services and we have still enjoy one of the lowest tax rates in the nation.

We have good public policy now. Don't volunteer to go backward. That's not smart.

Your choice, go with the zealots, or go with reality based public policy that we know is good for us all.

Vote No on Prop 1, it makes no sense to degrade what we have. It makes no sense to save a dollar, just to lose 2 or 3 for every dollar we thought we might save.

Don't allow yourself to be fooled by people playing at politics. They're being dishonest when they say it's only about closures.

witchwitch
51
Points
witchwitch 09/24/13 - 10:43 am
2
2
A 1.8% cut doesn't affect anyone's insurance premium...

If you think Zenger's comments are grounded in real facts then you may want to call you insurance agent. Otherwise, when the Vote Yes side prevails you can take a look at your next property tax bill and discover over three hundred green (and real) reasons that will be staying in your bank account.

Save REAL money. A 1.8% cut will not cause your emergency personel to go on strike or go away.

Vote Yes on Proposition One. Thank You!

JohnPeterZenger
731
Points
JohnPeterZenger 09/24/13 - 11:46 am
3
4
Vote No on Prop 1

It will cost you more than any promised savings.

Suss
3054
Points
Suss 09/24/13 - 12:06 pm
3
1
"reality based"

JPZ you lost your claim to reality a long time ago, posting your fibs. Please, everyone, do your own homework, no need for any more needless fabrications. A reasonable voter can and will decipher the facts and reject the fiction. These continual and mindless fear-based postings are beyond tiresome and have moved on over to the obsessive-compulsive neighborhood.

JohnPeterZenger
731
Points
JohnPeterZenger 09/24/13 - 12:14 pm
3
2
Armchair libertarians playacting at politics,

..want you to suffer cuts to emergency services.

All so they can push their dogmatic ideology on others.

Vote No on Prop 1.

whenpigsfly
38
Points
whenpigsfly 09/24/13 - 01:40 pm
2
3
Fire station closures

I have not heard of any plan to close a Nikiski fire station. I have read in the Clarion that Central Emergency Services (Soldotna, Ridgeway, Sterling, Funny River, Coho, Kalifornsky Beach, et al) have a contingency plan to close the K-Beach Station, trim back their water rescue program, and reduce the fire marshal's office. As I have stated before, closure of this station WILL increase insurance rates for all in the area. It will also dramatically increase the response time for medical and fire response. The brave and dedicated men and women that staff these stations save lives. One of their greatest assets is time. If you don't believe me, hold your breath for about 10 minutes and tell me how it works out for you. It is not all about the fire side. It will effect people's lives and health in real and profound ways.

Watchman on the Wall
2893
Points
Watchman on the Wall 09/24/13 - 02:06 pm
0
1
Which Dogmatic ideology to

Which Dogmatic ideology to believe is the question here.
Please vote in 7 days and we'll see what happens, that is if we can make it till next Tuesday. I still say vote no and write in's on all others and usually everything will be OK.

Suss
3054
Points
Suss 09/24/13 - 08:01 pm
3
0
$13.00 not Thousands........

Interesting 2010 Homer News article on ISO ratings. A 2 point rating change cost $13.00 more in insurance. Not THOUSANDS!!!
The three new water stations should take up any loss expected or imagined. And no, CES will not close K-Beach.

The Insurance Services Office in November released its new ranking for HVFD.
HVFD's ISO rating went from a 3-8 to a 5-8.
Mike Waters, vice president of risk decision services for ISO, in Newark, N.J., said field representatives evaluate a department and determine its Public Protection Classification, or PPC, based on these factors:
* The department's equipment, training and operation, which counts for 50 percent of the evaluation;
* Fire alarm response, including dispatching, for 10 percent; and
* Water supplies, for 40 percent.
Homer Insurance Center ran some scenarios to determine how the new rating might affect homeowners. In one scenario, the annual rate went up $13.00 on a new premium of $650, said Joan Ellington, co-owner with her husband, Clayton Ellington, of Homer Insurance Center. Insurance companies have to send out a notice of a premium increase if that increase is more than 10 percent.
"So far, they aren't sending out any notices," Ellington said.
http://homernews.com/stories/022410/news_1_002.shtml

JohnPeterZenger
731
Points
JohnPeterZenger 09/25/13 - 12:30 am
0
2
You're caught now in your own dishonest subterfuge.

Understanding ISO ratings and the difference between split ratings and non split ratings.

Split ratings, such as Homer's 3-8 indicate one classification for one area and another classification for another area. In Homer's example the change is much less drastic because of the urban area where split ratings apply.

From the ISO link below:

""Generally, the first class (Class 5 in the example) applies to properties within five road miles of a fire station and within 1,000 feet of a fire hydrant. The second class (Class 9 in the example) applies to properties within five road miles of a fire station but beyond 1,000 feet of a hydrant. ISO generally assigns Class 10 to properties beyond five road miles.""

Such ratings are not applicable to our situation, we're talking rural areas with no fire hydrants.

Consequently, a change in ratings from say a 3 to a 5 would have much larger premium impacts. Note that our situation isn't a split rating.

Going from a 3 or 5 to a 7 or 8 would prompt drastic cost increases in premiums.

(interesting to see you talking about ISO ratings at all, it was just yesterday you said they didn't and couldn't have any impact at all. I see reality intruded on your subterfuge.)

Don't be fooled by 'one example', an urban split rating, which is not actually comparable.

Go to this link.

http://www.isomitigation.com/ppc/0000/ppc0001.html

Then yes, feel free to call a fire insurance agent and get the facts which apply to your area. An ISO ratings change in our area would amount to much much more of a change than this one example from Homer which is not equal to what would apply in your area.

Don't be deceived, Vote No on Prop 1, it will cost you more than any promised 'savings'.

Suss
3054
Points
Suss 09/25/13 - 07:22 am
3
0
Call, and Raise you with the Truth

Spin it any way but the truth JPZ. The three new water stations CES has put in use, just like the hydrants do, count in the ratings, and subsequently are going to reduce the ISO ratings for the area covered by them. You were given an example from Homer and your twisted rejection of reality continues. There will be no drastic cuts for CES essential services. Again there is No Proof, no evidence just your chicken little THOUSANDS!!! Claim of increases. I call your thousands and raise you with the truth.

JohnPeterZenger
731
Points
JohnPeterZenger 09/25/13 - 09:51 am
1
2
You've no concept of the truth.

You've already been caught in your dishonesty when you said ratings changes only apply if there are closures of stations.

The truth is that ratings changes happen even if services are cut or degraded.

You've lied trying to push your ideological play acting.

And you're evidently not going to stop in being dishonest in your claims.

Your claim that 'water stations' are comparable to hydrant systems is nonsense, that only demonstrates how much you're willing to distort the truth for your armchair ideological aims.

Residents can go to this link and clearly see your willingness to make dishonest claims.

http://www.isomitigation.com/ppc/0000/ppc0001.html

Play acting at politics has real life consequences.

Stay out of our pockets with your play acting and stay out of our public policy with your ideological nonsense.

Vote No on Prop 1, it will cost you more than any promised savings.

Suss
3054
Points
Suss 09/25/13 - 11:18 am
2
0
"You can't handle the truth", JPZ

Where is the truth about your "Thousands"? The insurance rates have gone down and when the new water stations are put into the formula they will go down again. You want increased taxes for the Boro, and more spending by the Boro. We get it; more is not enough for you. The sales taxes spent on just gasoline purchases alone, plus all the added taxes on phone, electric and heat, etc. feed the Boro quite handsomely. The world will not end because of Prop 1. You appear to wear your "gimme money" persona very prominently. "Stay out of our pockets"!!! Are you the Boro? Or maybe you are an employee of the Boro that fears a layoff? You have twisted and lied about every facet of Prop 1 and nothing has changed with you and the truth, unfortunately you are still both strangers to each other. Prop 1 is more than a fire service issue, look at the bigger picture and try to see how Prop 1’s time has come. Or don’t. Voters will decide with or without your lies.

JohnPeterZenger
731
Points
JohnPeterZenger 09/25/13 - 07:49 pm
1
2
Your desperation is on display.

.
Along with your unhinged manic folderol.

It suits you. I believe you are accustomed to it by now.

Vote No on Prop 1, it will cost you more than any promised savings.

Watchman on the Wall
2893
Points
Watchman on the Wall 09/25/13 - 10:06 pm
0
1
You convinced me PeterZinger,

You convinced me PeterZinger, it's a NO vote come Tuesday on Prop. #1.
I guess you win and I'll see if your right about the costs.
Now for a little help as to all the write in's I have to vote for, any tips?

907Dad
3
Points
907Dad 09/25/13 - 10:28 pm
1
0
Prop #1 and the Nikiski Fire Department

I would like to share a few things I know about the Nikiski FD, and how Prop #1 will effect Nikiski.

Nikiski FD has some of the most dedicated elected Fire Board Members in the Borough. They receive no compensation, and put in many hours actively participating in budget issues. They are the service area's "eyes and ears", insuring that Nikiski has one of the best emergency service departments in Alaska.

Nikiski FD has maintained it's mil rate without any increase since 2006, reduced the fulltime staff by 2 members in-order to balance the budget, and this year reduced the mile rate by a tenth. Cutting $250,000 from the current budget.

The Nikiski FD Administration along with support of the Fire Board has tried to be very responsible with the NFD budget, has reduced staffing, and deferred projects for repair and maintenance in-order to maintain a balanced budget.

Nikiski and most other fire departments on the Peninsula have seen a 9% increase in run volume year over year. This will continue because we have an aging population that will need increased emergency care.

Utilities and fuel cost will continue to increase, along with the increase in emergency call volume.

Prop #1 will not cripple the Nikiski FD because of the planning the Fire Board and Administration has done over the last few years. It will mean that facilities and equipment that needs repairs, maintenance, and replacement will get pushed back and delayed. It may mean vacant positions don't get filled.

The members of the Nikiski FD will continue to provide the highest level of emergency services.

Always Ready - Proud to Serve

JohnPeterZenger
731
Points
JohnPeterZenger 09/26/13 - 09:23 am
0
1
Degradation of facilities,

...equipment, and personnel will inevitably result in degradation of services, no matter how dedicated the personnel.

Volunteering to put off repairs, maintenance, and replacement of equipment is unintelligent. Voluntarily opting for vacant positions is unintelligent.

No matter how dedicated and well meaning the personnel, if the equipment isn't ready, if the positions are sitting empty, services will be degraded.

I'm sure the personnel will do the best they can, but if we volunteer to take away the tools they need to do the job, they'll still do the best they can, but it won't match what they could have done with the proper equipment and manpower.

Voting to degrade our ability to deal with emergencies is stupid, and further, it shows disdain for the people who work to provide us with emergency services. Those people deserve our support, not our disdain.

Voting to put off repairs, put off maintenance, and put off replacement of equipment is not economically cost effective, it costs more to work from a position of being constantly behind the curve and over the barrel. It's simply not good policy.

Choosing to not fill crucial needed positions is unintelligent.

Degraded services leads to ISO rerating protection classes in our own neighborhoods. Further increasing our costs lowering our protection.

Vote No, it's simply unintelligent to vote any other way.

ManInBlack
182
Points
ManInBlack 09/26/13 - 10:07 am
0
1
There will be no loss of tax revenue...

... only an increase in the mill rate.

I didn't thoroughly read the preceding comments, so I'm not sure this has been addressed. Anywhere where "tax savings" like this have been implemented, the results are the same. A municipality has a certain budget, which typically increases on an annual basis. When you exempt certain individuals, whether partially or completely, you only succeed in the shifting of tax burden. If you move the residential exemption to $50k, those property owners with a value of over $50k will invariably be paying more to make up for those who pay less (or nothing). It's pretty easy really. If your tax bill is $2000, based on a mill rate of 10, when folks are getting a larger exemption (yourselves included), your tax bill will be.... $2100 based on a mill rate of 12.

What it boils down to is this: The borough is not going to LOSE money due to an increase in exemption amounts. Fewer people will be carrying their own share is all (think trailers and shacks).

JohnPeterZenger
731
Points
JohnPeterZenger 09/26/13 - 11:01 am
0
1
Vote No on Prop 1

Your assumptions are unfounded. This is your statement. "Anywhere where "tax savings" like this have been implemented, the results are the same."

You need that statement to be unequivocally unchallenged in order for your assumptions to bear out.

Let's start with your terminology, 'tax savings'. This isn't a tax savings it's a simple cut in revenue.

Decrease revenue and you have several options to deal with lost money. Not just one method as you claim.

True, you 'might' make attempts to shift the burden elsewhere. But that's not a guaranteed result, it's not born out by any evidence that proves that successfully happens every time revenue is cut. Even if the burden is attempted to be shifted, there's no general rule that it will be successful. Demographics change, you can't always rely on being able to just shift the burden elsewhere. Shifting the burden has been known to fail miserably in some instances.

Also possible, you might cut services. And documented cutting of services is frequently the option chosen to deal with falling revenues.

In short, your assurances and your claims are short sighted and without merit. Attempting to over-simplify complex systems won't give you viable results.

Basing assumptions on unfounded statements is not a viable method of dealing with public policy.

ManInBlack
182
Points
ManInBlack 09/26/13 - 11:40 am
0
0
JPZ

You sound a WHOLE LOT like the smarmy, want-to-be know it all who went by the pompous moniker "Thomas Hobbes", who was banned from here some time ago. You truly are still the same foolosipher you were under your previous pseudonym.

You are so caught up on yourself that you fail to see that I am not a proponent of Prop. 1 either. But because I state that services will not be cut (YOUR simplistic idea), you immediately reply with your juvenile tripe. You must be a lonely individual with sich a simple, shortsighted mind.

We are talking about PROPERTY TAXES here, which are too easy for the government to manipulate in order to recoup perceived "lost revenue" (the mill rate is easily adjusted). If passed, Prop. 1 WILL result in a shifting of PROPERTY TAX burden (some pay less while many pay more), as well as an increased mill rate. Now if your ingorance was opining on SALES TAX, then your fear tactics may have a modicum of validity. The ONLY statement you have made that holds truth is "It will cost you more than any promised savings".

Carry on.

JohnPeterZenger
731
Points
JohnPeterZenger 09/26/13 - 11:41 am
0
1
Wrong,

and it doesn't matter if you call yourself a proponent or not, ...your claim is still based on unfounded assumptions.

James Price
116
Points
James Price 09/28/13 - 03:40 pm
1
0
Proposition One has NO significant hiddens costs

Prop One will NOT "dramatically increase the response time for medical and fire response" or trigger other fantasy based assumptions that your ISO rating will fall causing your insurance rates to increase. These claims are nothing more than baseless fear-mongering.

The facts show that the reductions in income of 1.8% - 6% (not allowing for annual assessment increase, which in many cases exceed this tax break with a single year of assessment inflation) are very minor.

When we fought to reduce YOUR grocery taxes in 2008, we did not say that people will starve on the street and die if you do not fail to pass this important initiative. Opponents claimed that schools would not be funded along with all sorts of unfounded assertions. Look around and see the truth.

This is the same situation, with those who fight tooth and nail against ANY tax revenue reduction stooping to their same old tired and false rhetorical claims.

I'd like to counter their "hidden" costs with a fact that is very real and that was NEVER provided by the Borough government: A YES vote for Proposition One will save my neighbors over $300 every year in property taxes. This truth was hidden by your local government, while they exclusively reported their "losses".

A YES vote on Proposition One will reduce the property tax for EVERY resident borough homeowner.

These are indisputable FACTS.

It's important to vote, because the minority who want to keep YOUR taxes high will vote. I hoping to see lots of people when I vote on Tuesday! Please remember to vote and help reduce the property tax for your neighbors and every local resident homeowner on the Kenai Peninsula.

Thank You!

JohnPeterZenger
731
Points
JohnPeterZenger 09/28/13 - 08:37 pm
0
0
Vote No on Prop 1, it will cost you more than any 'saving'.

Prop 1 can result in reduced fire and emergency services.

Prop 1 has nothing to do with grocery taxes and this is not the same situation.

Prop 1 has hidden costs that can cost you more, much more, than any promised savings.

Vote No, armchair libertarian political play actors can't promise you they'll make up for any hidden costs.

They admitted they didn't even worry about the costs that could impact their neighbors.

Play actors have no business in public policy. It's not a game.

Stay out of my pocket, ...and keep your libertarian ideology out of public policy.

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