They say there are two things you never want to see made sausage and legislation. Forty years ago I was all through a sausage plant, and nothing I saw there was as bad as the legislative process I witnessed Sept. 5 at the borough assembly. I was not alone in my assessment.
The borough assembly made such a confusing mess of their proposed changes to their senior real estate tax exemption ordinance that the borough mayor was moved to request that they postpone a final vote in order to clean it up. He was ignored. Six assembly members sped on and passed the mess. Three members said no.
Inane things were said by assembly members in support of their actions in creating and passing this mess. Some were upset that some seniors in Anchorage and elsewhere own homes here, too, and claim Kenai residency. They are worried about Kenai homeowners subsidizing these seniors, but it does not bother them that nonresident owners of large expensive yachts moored in Homer or Seward pay a nominal fee for those up to $600k boats. Nor does it bother them that commercial boat owners get an almost free ride for their money making boats and spend the winters in some warm place. That terrible thing some seniors getting the exemption do!
Who is subsidizing these yachts and commercial boats besides borough real property owners? Honest logic indicates if the borough has fallen upon such hard times the assembly should be going after these sources of funds, too. They used to pay their fair share.
The ordinance as passed is going to be an administrative nightmare. All 2,700 seniors currently on the program will have to reapply. All will have to be re-evaluated. Maybe every year. The assembly was not sure. Heavy penalties are in place for those who violate the ordinance. Makes no difference that it is a confusing mess and mine field. However they decide to enforce it, it is going to be a mess to administer. And bureaucracies respond to messes by hiring more employees to clean up the mess.
The best thing that could happen to this mess is for the borough mayor to veto it. This would allow for the time he requested to clean it up and do it right.
Peninsula Clarion ©2013. All Rights Reserved.