Voters back school projects

Posted: Thursday, October 07, 2004

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Voters in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough have again rejected a sales tax.

At municipal elections around the state Tuesday, voters in Fairbanks and Juneau backed school but Nikiski residents turned down a proposal establishing a new law enforcement service area.

The rejection of sales tax in the Mat-Su Borough was the fifth by voters since 1991.

They said no despite assurances by elected and appointed officials that the proposed 1 percent sales tax would offset property taxes.

The turnout was a little more than 22 percent. With absentee votes not counted, nearly 62 percent of those who cast votes had rejected the tax.

The tax would have covered items including food and cars and was projected to raise more than $5 million.

In Fairbanks, voters backed two bond propositions aimed at schools.

More than a dozen Fairbanks North Star Borough schools will receive $11.5 million in improvements under the two measures.

''It's excellent news because the community continues to support our schools and to keep the environments safe and conducive to learning,'' said schools superintendent Ann Shortt.

Borough voters also approved a revenue cap for another two years.

In Juneau, voters approved a scaled-back second high school, to be built in the Mendenhall Valley.

The school had been approved before at a higher cost but a special election in May rescinded that action.

In Seward, Vanta Shafer defeated Timothy McDonald in the mayor's race.

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