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Proposition No. 1 - Increasing The Residential Real Property Tax Exemption

Posted: September 17, 2013 - 10:00am

Please understand what this proposi tion will do to the emergency services WHERE YOU LIVE. This proposition will reduce the tax revenue that your service area uses to respond to emergencies. 

This revenue is used to pay responding personnel, operate the stations, and ensure that reliable equipment is ready to respond to emergencies. Examples of the loss by department funding are:

Service Area - Tax Revenue Loss

Central Emergency Service Area- $350,737

Anchor Point Fire and EMS Area -$35,503

Nikiski Fire Service Area - $78,659

Bear Creek Fire Service Area - $26,076

Nikiski Senior Service Area - $23,752

North Peninsula Recreation Service Area - $27,124

Central Kenai Peninsula Hospital Service Area - $90

Roads Service Area - $285,401

Central Peninsula EMS Area - $52,551

Seldovia Recreational Service Area - $1,628

Kachemak Emergency Services - $78,659

Seward-Bear Creek Flood Service Area - $8,725

South Kenai Peninsula Hospital Service Area - $174,268

All service areas will be affected by this proposition. Please vote NO on this proposition.

Dan Hammond and Mark Cialek

Vice Chair & Chair Nikiski Fire
Service Area 

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JohnPeterZenger 09/17/13 - 12:22 pm

Losing over one million and

Losing over one million and three hundred thousand dollars in revenue that helps pay for the services we all benefit from? For what? What's the tradeoff? To what benefit?

We know the loss will result in poorer public service, what is the up side of loss of those services?

There is no upside to loss of services.

Losing services will cost more in the long run, much much more than the mere pittance we pay to afford good public services.

We should voluntarily degrade our public services for what?

So more people can avoid the responsibility to share in the cost of those same services they themselves profit by, those same services that they directly benefit from? Why shouldn't they also share in the cost?

Is there some law that says irresponsible people shouldn't have to participate in shared costs of public services?

Prop 1? What for exactly? We've already got one of the lowest tax rates in the nation, it's not like our tax shares are at all oppressive or onerous.

There are no selective 'deserving recipients' of this increased exemption, it's not an exemption based on any criteria such as merit, duty or responsibility.

It's just a tax break giveaway to those who don't wish to, or don't care to equally share in the collective burden of properly maintaining our own needs in this community.

Be the conscientious and responsible citizens like the letter writers have asked you to be. Vote no on Prop 1. It's the responsible thing to do, and in the long view, it'll be to the advantage of both you and your neighbors.

witchwitch 09/18/13 - 01:45 pm

Stopping government growth is bad?

The selective use of facts regarding Service Area "losses" represent a LIE of OMISSION.

What they don't tell you is this:

The "terrible" loss of $78,659.60 for Nikiski Fire service area represents less than 2% of their total property tax taking.

So the real question, for those of us who wish to be FULLY INFORMED, is whether a tax decrease of $300 annually for Nikiski homeowners, is appropriate, in as much as the Nikiski Fire service area INCREASES their take by more than that amount EVERY YEAR.

When has this service area or any service area faced the terrible reality of a budget reduction of less than 2%? As a taxpayer, I cannot just threaten to CUT YOUR SERVICES, when I face a budget shortfall. Unfortunately, as a lowly taxpayer, I do face the reality of income reductions. I don't work for the government... SORRY!?!

For me, it's a question of whether MY FAMILY can use an extra $300 per year, or whether the Fire Service Area can cut 2%, when their annual increases in income are greater than that EVERY YEAR.

Don't buy the exaggerations promoted by the use of selective facts. Get the whole story and vote YES for Proposition One!

JohnPeterZenger 09/18/13 - 08:51 pm


For you, (as you yourself say), think it might be that it's not anything but simply a question of whether you want to spend 300 bucks here or or spend 300 dollars there.

300 dollars. You didn't say the 300 dollars wasn't going to be spent. You're not contending that the 300 dollars is unattainable and therefore an actual privation. You simply say it's a question of 300 dollars spent on one thing or an unqualified something else, ....say, games.

So it boils down to a question of bang for your buck, or personal whim, ...not some ethical or proprietary question.

(hey, it's your assertion, own up to it)

It's your assertion, no one else's, ...that 2% should not be of too much concern for others.

Key words in your phrasing, 'for others', (...'not much concern for others'.) ....(and by the way, that only holds assuming your back of the napkin calculation of 2% is even close to a valid supposition, right?).

Using the figures for individual yearly income, (a known quantity), multiplying that by the average family, (another known quantity), and your figure of 300 dollars 'ain't spit', as they say, ....applying the known quantities, it sure as shooting is not 300 dollars. (go ahead, check the math)

And all that deceit aside, you want someone to believe that 300 dollars is make or break spending on a yearly basis for your entire family?,

....well, I'll give you that, ...that is one thing. (...a highly dubious thing, but you might believe you'll get a pass on that). (, um, eh, cough, cough)

But really, this get's even better...

witchwitch, it's your assertion, (the numbers you provide remember), that the Nikiski Fire Service generates a tax 'taking' of seven million, seven hundred and eight thousand, six hundred and forty dollars and 80 some cents. Yearly.

Yearly, you say? Nikiski Fire Service Area represents a 'tax takings' of nearly 8 million dollars. You said that.

Yet, witch witch, I refer you to this link:

( I shouldn't have to provide that link, you could have found it)

That link demonstrates that you've been, 'shall we say' less than honest. (that, or you don't know what it is you think you might be talking about and you're just making things up as you go along)

You have greatly exaggerated the tax takings, (your choice of turn of phrase, you own it now), ...and to 'undo' your exaggeration is to show that your 300 dollars is not only overinflated, but to look at the actual numbers, the real tax impact on the average family is negligible at best, even for the lower end wage earner or those on fixed incomes, makes your 'argument' inane.

The amount of taxes that we residents pay works out to possibly the lowest tax in the country, and for what we get in exchange, no one should be grousing about paying too much.

Not only can you not justify you're fervent wish to be shirking your duty as a contributing member of the community, you can't even bring yourself to be on the level when you attempt to inject actual budgetary realities into your long con.

Looking at that con now, ...after assessing how highly contrived it really is, could hope that contrition might be your next step.

(.....yeah, ...why do I think that's unlikely)

Quick note for the inordinately naive, that was, and remains, a purely rhetorical question. No need for utterance.

Similarly, additional riposte would be similarly redundant.

(oh, and whichwitch, ere you think you would entertain a notion you might achieve redemption via a further heaping of your disingenuousness, it. You've set the bar too low from the get go to expect any further forbearance now.)

Vote No on Prop 1, ( other words, don't aspire to be a deadbeat)

Suss 09/18/13 - 10:18 pm

Math Whiz

"The "terrible" loss of $78,659.60 for Nikiski Fire service area represents less than 2% of their total property tax taking."

So why is the math wrong?
For the sake of economy of words I'll use numbers. Nikiski Fire Service Area budget is $4,000,000.00 ; 2% of 4 million is $80,000.00 ...again all the snarky wordy Hmmmmmm Zengerisms do not change the math. Page 11 boro budget. Less words more numbers. Don't take this wrong, we, as in the royal we, will be voting no on this ballot measure, but I don't like Zengermath.

witchwitch 09/18/13 - 10:20 pm

Check your math before you make accusations Zinger...

I have my facts from the Mayor's report on the tax implications of Prop One. The Nikiski Fire SA has $4,023,540 in budgeted tax revenue and is howling about a tax reduction of $78,659.60. That's less than a 2% reduction in revenue.

I'll decline to respond to the rest of your diatribe.

Before you accuse others of being "less than honest" you should verify your facts or hire a qualified operator to run your calculator.

JohnPeterZenger 09/19/13 - 12:45 am

Hilarious, but not unexpected.

.....and the synchronized posting of the royal we is doubly hilarious because even with both of you claiming to have read the budget, neither of you noticed the unassailable truth.

Why is your math wrong? Easy. Too easy. Way too easy.

The 4 million is inclusive of much more than just property tax revenue.

Back out the revenue that is not property tax derived revenue. Then do the math.


Or did you think you could get away with having your equations be just as maladaptive as your other inventions?

The 'royal we' can have their sad now. And deservedly so.

Additionally, declining to address that which you cannot refute is often ones's best option.

....especially considering how royally you screwed up what you did respond to.

Here, try this link next time you're challenged with an equation:

Suss 09/19/13 - 08:11 am

2% is still 2%

So not all the NFSA budget is from the property tax. The reduction is still 2% of the 4 million that came from the taxpayer pocket. Your condescending attitude towards where one might spend the projected $300.00 OR $3.00, whatever the amount,is laughable and really none of your business. Do you think anyone cares what you may think about where or how they might spend the money? The savings might be the cost of two tanks of gas, of which the Boro would get back $9.00. The likely scenario would be paying bills; maybe the one from the massive money-sucking machine called CPH, again a Boro money generating system. As far as the North Road goes the $300.00 might just be spent on MREs and ammo, or $300.00 might go toward cleaning up the toxic property at the Y in Soldotna, or just up the hill at Chuck's, $300.00 could go to the ladies that want to start an orphanage. Now I will go vote today and think about where $300.00 does the most good, so many choices and none of them involve HmmmmmmmZenger.

Watchman on the Wall
Watchman on the Wall 09/19/13 - 08:09 am

YEP! Please vote so some one

Please vote so some one will be happy we did and talk to you.

JohnPeterZenger 09/19/13 - 09:45 am


And no, the reduction isn't still from 'taxpayers pockets', you're still being disingenuous.

The unspoken costs involved as a direct result of Prop 1 far exceed any imagined savings.

Even you can't decide if your savings are supposed to be 300 or 3 dollars. Why don't you speak of the cost involved to those taxpayers you claim to be so compassionate about?

What say you when Prop 1 costs the taxpayer more than they save with Prop 1 on their already low property tax bills.

As one example, a costly one at that, when a taxpayer's fire insurance rates go up because of limited response from the degraded fire services, the cost of Prop 1 will far exceed any imagined savings.

You can vote for a misguided notion. That's your right.

It's just not very smart. Don't expect others to follow you over that cliff. They can make more intelligent choices. Choices that don't involve losing more than they gain.

Vote No on Prop 1. ( or end up paying more, the choice is yours)

Watchman on the Wall
Watchman on the Wall 09/19/13 - 10:44 pm

I just got back from

I just got back from Anchorage a few minutes ago and spent that $300.00 so I have to vote no as a renter I guess. Or do renters matter.
I remember the Good Old days when the fire depts. would come watch homes burn down but not do anything about it because it was on the wrong side of the line. Things have changed have they not? It sure was cheaper tax wise with volunteer fire depts. compared to all these high paid ones now. We may need to go back to volunteer labor in every area soon to be able to afford any type of services.
I don't know what the answer is but it seems that everywhere one looks we are getting less & less for our bucks.
October 1st is the day to vote up or down and I got my pre-election booklet in the mail today so I can study up and know what's what..

akal 09/20/13 - 09:13 am


Cialek is biased as most all work he gets is from government sources. if we allow local government to just keep growing, nothing will be left for the middle class.we need to cut the cost of living not raise it.

JohnPeterZenger 09/20/13 - 11:07 am

cut the cost of living, you say?

So you want to enact Prop 1 which will cost more than it will save you on your negligible taxes.

When fire services don't maintain a standard determined by insurance industry ratings agencies, fire insurance rates rise dramatically.

Cutting fire services will cost much more than any imaginary savings supposedly created by Prop 1.

Vote no, Prop 1 will not cut the cost of living, it will raise your cost of living.

Be smart, not naive and gullible. Don't fall for talking points that don't reflect reality.

Suss 09/20/13 - 01:00 pm

Disingenuous Nonsense

So HmmmmZenger, pray tell where does this non-taxpayer funding of NFSA comes from?
"And no, the reduction isn't still from 'taxpayers pockets', you're still being disingenuous."

"Unspoken costs involved as a direct result of Prop 1",
Since the costs are mysterious and unspoken please be a dear and break your cone of silence and prove up your belief that the taxpayer loses on prop one. Facts to support the mythical rating change that will happen would be most helpful. Not your personal financial fibs, but reality based, verifiable and testable facts and figures with cites, are the least you could do to back up all your protestations.

JohnPeterZenger 09/20/13 - 09:51 pm

You evidently can't read the budget.

Since you've so far exercised a recurring tendency to be demonstrably incapable of learning facts on your own, and you continue to be selective in what you choose to comprehend,'ll have to go bug some borough employees in the finance dept.

They get paid to deal with petulant, uninformed residents, I don't, and since I don't, I don't feel compelled to hold your hand and walk you through the budget or rehash every thread just for your benefit.

Try reading the budget, ...if that doesn't help, call the borough. Reread my previous posts.

I explained the hidden costs. You don't care to recognize objective reality, don't whine about that to me.

When you call the borough, try to curb the petulance. It's unbecoming, and probably won't help you get what you want.

Heck, you're a member of the booster club promoting this nonsense, you should have your own proof, yet with Fred Sturman admitting that you folks never thought about the downside costs to your folly, it'll be pretty hard for you to try to act like that didn't happen. If Fred understood and responded to the hidden costs, ask him to explain it to you.

You want to sell your play acting, your ideological political role playing? Do a better job of it.

Promoting failed public policy like Prop 1 is a fools errand.

What is the track record of you armchair libertarian wanna-bes? Most of your schtick has gone down in flames. Why? Your armchair libertarian proposals often make no actual public policy sense. Prop 1 is just the latest in a long line of failed policy proposals.

Vote No on Prop 1, ...or it will cost you more than you think you might save.

Suss 09/21/13 - 03:56 pm

Close K-Beach threat

HmmZenger has not been truthful and only pushed her agenda. The threat of closing the K-Beach fire station is humorous. This is known as the lonely fireman's "Maytag" station for going a record of 360 days without a callout, it is frequently not manned anyways for the same obvious reasons. CES can easily absorb this cost cutting measure and my home insurance rates will not be affected in the slightest amount. Spin your facts any way you want, you are still wrong. Call your insurance agent. The facts are available. No one has to listen to you, me, or any of the self-proclaimed pundits. I do my own research and HmmZenger is on a rant for her own motives that must be worth her time but they are not worthy of anyone else’s.

JohnPeterZenger 09/22/13 - 10:44 am

So, your level of concern for others is revealed,

...along with a perfect demonstration of a distinct lack of any civic responsibility.

You don't care about others and how they may be affected by your actions, you're only interested in your own interests.

Go ahead and close someone else's fire station, what could it matter to someone who doesn't live there?

Vote No on Prop 1, it's supporters don't care if you ever have need of a fire station.

They're just too irresponsible to want to share in the cost of necessary public services.

They don't care if it means you experience tragic loss, that would be none of their concern.

Nice to know who your neighbors are, ...and how they'd just as soon see you burnt out if it means they might advance their own petty gain.

Thanks for revealing the motivation behind Prop 1.

Suss 09/22/13 - 11:03 am

Missed the point, again!

An unmanned, underused, unneeded fire station is not going to save anyone, anything, anytime. Save your drama for your momma. Do some homework and quit the theatrics. Ignorant emotional appeals may work in your home but have little value in a grownup world. Before you attempt to impart your emotional and irrational fears please get the true facts straight before tearfully accusing someone of your drivel.

JohnPeterZenger 09/22/13 - 04:45 pm

No, Didn't miss a thing,

...and I didn't have to accuse you of anything,

you cop to it all in your own posts.

Vote No on Prop 1,

...the hidden costs will cost you far more than any small amount you might save.

You don't have to call an insurance agent to know that if they cut fire service or degrade the same, the rating agency will downgrade the station and your rates will skyrocket.

You want facts?

Here's a quote from the link below:

""Also a possible concern to residents in affected areas is the affect the closure could have on the insurance rating that decided, in part, homeowner’s fire insurance premiums. Mokracek said that before the stations wen in at Kasilof and Funny River the ISO rating, which establishes fire insurance rates with a 1 to 10 scale, 10 being the worst, for each was a 10.

Since the stations went in the rating moved to a 7 and residents have saved about $1,000 year on premiums, he said.

Other areas of the CES fire district are set at an ISO rating of 6 because they have access to fire hydrants,

“We didn’t worry about that,” Sturman said of the possible increase in fire insurance for some homeowners. """

Nice, right? ....'we didn't worry about that.'

Yeah, why worry about what it might cost someone else for you to pursue your play acting at politics?

Degraded fire service? Not a concern. Costs of fire insurance increasing raising a possible thousand dollars a year for neighbors?

Actual costs much higher than any promised 'savings'?

"We didn't worry about that'.

We only want to push our armchair libertarian ideology on others.

Nice of Fred and his lot not to worry about what it might cost his neighbors while he pursues his own misguided libertarian ideological nonsense.

Thanks Fred, ....stay out of my pocket, all of you. I'm not interested in paying more money just so you can play act at politics.

Vote NO on Prop 1. It's proponents are irresponsible, uncaring.

(.....they've said so themselves.)

James Price
James Price 09/23/13 - 01:26 pm

Why worry? Reduce YOUR property tax...

There is really nothing to fear. There will be no station closure, thus no "hidden" cost due to increases in fire insurance.

The only facts that have been hidden have been the report from the mayors office reporting that the cuts in income are so small.

Service areas can increase their mil rate to recover ALL of their perceived losses and if they do then there will still be tax savings for local homeowners. This is a documented fact.

More than half of the service areas would need to generate a mil rate increase of LESS THAN 0.1 mil to recover more than their claimed loss, with is essentially a reduction in increases when you factor in assessment increases.

Those who want to keep the tax rolls as high as possible, without regard for taxpayers, are claiming astronomical "losses". The claims are greatly exaggerated.

If this initiative fails because people don't truly understand the impact and/or don't vote, then we will likely just put this issue back on the 2014 ballot. Voter turnout will be higher in the Mayor's election and we'll build a campaign budget to overcome the deceptive practice of government telling only the negative part of an incomplete, misleading story.

I'm hoping citizens will come out for the term limits issue that our Assembly placed on the ballot, to tell their elected representatives what they really meant for the fourth time. If voter turnout is over 30% we should be alright.

JohnPeterZenger 09/23/13 - 09:06 pm

Sure, nothing to worry about, Jim Price guarantees it.

So when your fire insurance rates do go up, just have Jim pick up the extra cost for your premiums.

Downgraded public services? Jim Price is going to pick up the slack.

He's probably good for it, right?

After all, he's the one assuring you it won't cost you a thing.

I'm sure you can trust him to financially guarantee his assurances. Were you to suffer a loss through cuts to services, good ol' Jim will be there to pick up the slack.

Vote NO on Prop 1, Jim says you don't have anything to worry about, him, he says.

What is his position again?

His is the wisest voice in the land?

(...or maybe his cohort saying "we didn't worry" about costs to others) ...they won't be paying what it costs anyway.

Or do I see an account at a local bank that will back up his assurances?

Maybe Jim has a private fire service that will offer to step up and take over should you have need of services, he's probably got a team of emergency medical personnel all trained up too, and an ambulance he'll put to use should you ever need one.

No, ? Nothing but his assurances?

Vote No on Prop 1, ...those play-acting at politics, those whose wish it is to just push their armchair libertarian ideology on others, those people aren't going to be in any position to repair the damage their play-acting creates. You can't hold them accountable for their 'assurances'.

Vote No, Prop 1 will cost you more than it will supposedly save you. Don't be taken in by empty assurances. There's too much to lose to be play-acting at public policy.

whenpigsfly 09/24/13 - 11:04 am

Vote No. It may save your life and a few dollars

If the K-Beach fire station is closed, your insurance rates will increase. When the fire district was upgraded from an 8 to a 7 ISO rating, my insurance rates dropped. Conversely, if the station is closed, the rating will change back to an 8 or possibly worse due to the closure. My tax savings will be spent on insurance premium increases. The higher the houses’ value, the greater the insurance rate hike will be. What is not mentioned in these numbers are the businesses located in the area. They will not get any kind of tax break, but they will see their insurance rates increase as well. NOW THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE. The K-Beach fire station is staffed by medics and an ambulance. The downtown station is 10 minutes away, at a minimum. The farther south, more time. Bleeding for an extra 10 minutes. Not breathing for an extra 10 minutes. Being trapped in a car after hitting a moose for an extra 10 minutes. Watching a loved one have a heart attack for an extra 10 minutes. Fearfully holding your child for an extra 10 minutes. These things are not worth $300.

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