ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan has announced what he wants to do with the extra money left over from the city's spending plan last year.
Of the total $11 million budget surplus, $6.7 million would be returned to taxpayers in the form of a property tax reduction this year, under Sullivan’s proposal.
Sullivan's budget director, Cheryl Frasca, says the extra money from last year resulted from city departments spending less than what they were budgeted, as opposed to higher-than-expected revenue brought in from things like fees, fines and city investments.
She referred to the money as a year-end "lapse" of unspent funds, as opposed to a surplus.
After the $6.7 million refund to taxpayers, Sullivan says the remaining money will be used to pay off several financial obligations that the city holds:
- $3.1 million will pay off a loan used to purchase a former Alaska Greenhouse property back in 2006. The final loan payment is due in October of this year.
- $750,000 to clean up soil from a former ML&P generator site on the present-day Glenn Square Mall, which was later dumped onto city-owned land at Reeve Boulevard, contaminated with a pollutant known as PCB.
- $700,000 to clean up soil at the Kincaid Park contaminated with lead. Parts of the park used to be a biathlon range.
Sullivan's announcement came at his weekly press conference, at which he also announced several changes he's proposing to the 2011 budget. They are part of the final tweaks that the mayor's office and Assembly members typically make to the budget in April, before the tax rates are set later in the month.