Mat-Su Borough budget proposals expect over $12M shortfall

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From Public Safety to Platting, the Matanuska-Susitna Borough’s various departments have unveiled their latest round of budget requests.

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Overall, the Borough expects a more than $12 million shortfall between proposed spending and expected revenue. That gap represents nearly 10 percent of the budget.

The biggest chunk of that deficit is due to the governor’s veto of school bond debt reimbursement, said Borough Manager John Moosey. And further decreases in state funding are inevitable, Moosey said.

“We are realizing that this is our new environment, where we can expect very little help from the state and we’re very concerned about operating in this economy, where we’re shedding jobs and business opportunities,” Moosey said.

The Borough will be able to use surplus money it has saved from years’ past to bridge the gap, Moosey said. The borough’s tax cap means Mat-Su residents should not expect much of an increase in property taxes, which is its largest revenue source.

“On the taxpayer, it’s a great thing. For operation, it just means it’s a little bit tougher, we have to be a little bit more creative and maybe not do everything we want to do,” Moosey said. “So we’re trying to find new and creative ways to kind of meet those needs and prioritize on things that, ‘Yeah, this was great to have in the past, we might not be able to do this anymore, or we might not be able to do as much as in the past.'”

The budgets now go to the Borough Assembly for discussion and revisions.

Casey Grove is host of Alaska News Nightly, a general assignment reporter and an editor at Alaska Public Media. Reach him at Read more about Casey here

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