Matanuska-Susitna Borough

Yellow flyer got it wrong

Mat-Su | Patty Sullivan | Tuesday, April 25, 2006

PALMER—The MAT-SU Borough received a few calls Wednesday from concerned residents about a yellow flyer in the newspaper from a local group. The yellow flyer contains several errors. In an effort to clarify for residents, MAT-SU Finance Director Tammy Clayton corrects the errors here. The flyer stated: the vote on the general obligation bonds on May 2 will increase your tax burden by 16.4 percent. In fact, it would be 1.63 percent. The flyer stated: current debt per property owner is $5,191.00. In fact, the current debt per resident is $1,971.92. Incidentally, this amount will decrease to $1,960.97 on May 1, after payoff of the 1994 school bonds. The flyer stated: proposed new debt per property owner is $851.55. In fact, the proposed new debt for the Borough would be $520.72 per resident for the term of the bonds. The flyer states: you currently pay more than $11,500 per MAT-SU student in public schools. In fact, the Borough's contribution for education is only $2,376 per student, not each taxpayer's. The majority of the per-student funding comes from the State of Alaska, as mandated by the Alaska Constitution. Background: The Valley Delegation worked to obtain authorization from the Legislature for $40 million in projects for school debt reimbursement in the MAT-SU. The general obligation bonds will not exceed $39.7 million. $26 million of the total qualifies for reimbursement by the state. That means the state will pay 70 cents on every dollar to build a school in the Knik-Goose Bay area. The state will pay 70 cents on every dollar to upgrade both Wasilla Middle School and Wasilla High School. The state will pay 60 cents on every dollar to build an elementary school near south Palmer/Trunk Rd. The reimbursement percentages are subject to annual appropriation. For more information call Finance Director Tammy Clayton at 745-9630.