2017 One Percent Sales Tax Information
The City and Borough of Juneau has a 5% sales tax. For decades, one percent of that has been a temporary tax – approved by voters every five years – that pays for things like capital projects and nonprofit community projects. The Assembly determines what projects the tax revenue is intended for. The current 1% sales tax is set to expire September 30, 2018 unless voters decide to renew it during this year’s municipal election on October 3. (Sales Tax Code: 69.05.020)
With an estimated $47 million to work with if the 1% sales tax program continues, the Assembly carefully considered and evaluated 26 different projects to receive the funding. With the focus on addressing the deferred maintenance needs of public utilities and facilities, the Assembly Finance Committee approved these 13 projects for the ballot proposition:
$13.5 million will partially fund the rehabilitation of utility infrastructure for CBJ’s wastewater systems. The extensive systems are reaching the end of their useful life and need to be replaced or upgraded. CBJ’s focus is to continue providing the existing uninterrupted service to the citizens and visitors of Juneau.
CBJ has a large number of buildings to maintain, including City Hall, parking garages, fire and police stations, swimming pools, park restrooms and other facilities. These public facilities need to have routine maintenance in order to keep them functional and acceptable to the public. This includes, but is not limited to, exterior and interior painting, new carpeting, roofing repairs, heating and ventilation upgrades, electrical upgrades, new windows and doors, and other building maintenance improvements. $3.5 million would be allocated for general building maintenance projects.
$2 million will partially fund the rehabilitation of utility infrastructure for CBJ’s water systems. The extensive systems are reaching the end of their useful life and need to be replaced or upgraded. CBJ’s focus is to continue providing the existing uninterrupted service to the citizens and visitors of Juneau.
These projects – totaling about $40 million – would be primarily funded by the Federal Aviation Administration for federal fiscal year 2017 through 2022. $3 million of sales tax revenue represents CBJ’s local match requirement. Various projects on the Airport Capital Improvement Program include snow removal equipment acquisition, sand/chemical building design/construction, terminal reconstruction (phase), taxiway rehabilitation and realignment of intersections, emergency vehicle access road continuation, wetland access vehicle for emergency response, main commercial apron design/reconstruction and runway safety area north side grading.
$5 million will fund repairs to various structural, plumbing, mechanical and operational components at the Augustus Brown Pool, allowing continued long-term use of the facility. Portions of the roof need to be repaired, as well as the mechanical heating and ventilation, electrical and plumbing systems and asbestos abated. Insulation will be added to the exterior walls for added energy efficiencies, along with replacement of single pane windows.
After 35 years of continuous use, Centennial Hall is in need of upgrades and improvements. The purpose of this $4.5 million project is to upgrade failing and inadequate infrastructure, to replace systems and fixtures that have reached their end of life, as well as to modernize systems to be compatible with modern technology. Projects include repairing/replacing the HVAC system, lighting and sound, and electrical upgrades.
CBJ owns its school buildings, valued at over $300 million in replacement value. These buildings require regular maintenance of building components to keep them safe and functional for Juneau’s students and teachers. $5 million of sales tax revenue would be used to match State grant/bond funds or to address immediate facility needs.
$2.5 million would be used to develop a detox bay to allow for on-site detoxification of patients and create an addiction assessment center at the Rainforest Recovery Center. The detox bay would reduce the volume of patients at the medical and mental health unit departments, and reduce wait times in the emergency department. The addiction assessment center would serve as a single point of entry to provide assessment, placement and outpatient treatment of substance use disorders.
$2 million of sales tax revenue would fund upgrade to CBJ’s IT systems, allowing for operational efficiencies, enhanced management reporting and more effective customer service. Projects include upgrading dispatch for Juneau Police Department and Capital City Fire/Rescue, enhancements to electronic payments and implementation of security cameras.
The RecycleWorks program, which diverts waste from the landfill and prolongs the life of the landfill, is operated primarily through contracts and these costs have risen significantly. By partially funding operational costs of recycling, household hazardous waste, and junk vehicle collection programs, $2 million of sales tax revenue would maintain services to the community and reduce an increase to user rates.
The Affordable Housing Fund provides funding for housing activities that target families and individuals who earn 120% of the Area Median Income and below. The fund can be used by local housing developers, non-profit agencies and social service agencies for the creation, acquisition, rehabilitation or preservation of affordable housing. Examples of the types of projects that could utilize the fund include phase two of Housing First, development of a rapid re-housing program, winter or emergency shelter programs, senior housing and housing targeted for low-income and homeless populations.
Aurora Harbor, which was constructed from 1962 to 1964, is in extremely poor condition and has exceeded its useful life. The rebuild project has been ongoing in phases. Phase I was completed in 2015 for $9 million and Phase II has been awarded for $3.5 million with construction scheduled to be complete by April 2018. The unfunded requirement to fully recapitalize the remaining rebuild of Aurora Harbor (in kind) is $7 million. Docks & Harbors is evaluating future funding options, including revenue bonds and/or fee increases, to supplement the $1.5 million in sales tax revenue.
In 2012, Juneau voters approved a 5-year 1% sales tax that will expire on September 30, 2018. The proceeds from this tax have been and continue to be used for capital projects, capital project bond debt service, budget reserve and nonprofit capital project grants.
CBJ is considering renewing the existing temporary 1% sales tax program for five years from October 1, 2018 to September 30, 2023. The renewal would go to a public vote at the October 3, 2017 municipal election. The renewal covers a portion of fiscal year 2019, full fiscal years 2020 – 2023, and a portion of FY24. It is currently estimated that a 1% sales tax would raise $43.3 million of sales tax over 5 years. After adding the $3.7 million of funding leftover from the previous round, the total revenue available is $47 million.
CBJ management identified internal CBJ government needs and received proposals from local nonprofit organizations. Through a careful ranking process, Assembly members evaluated 26 projects. During the July 13 Assembly Finance Committee meeting, the body approved a list of 13 projects to spend the 1% temporary tax on if the voters approve the ballot measure on October 3.
What’s happened and what’s coming up
- Project proposals were due to the City Manager by May 31
- Proposals were presented to the Assembly Finance Committee (AFC) on June 14, and continued at AFC meetings on June 28 and July 13
- AFC approved a list of 13 projects on July 13
- The ordinance proposing a ballot proposition for a public vote is scheduled to be introduced to the Assembly at the July 31 Regular Assembly meeting.
- The ballot proposition ordinance is scheduled to have a public hearing at August 21 Regular Assembly meeting
- Municipal Election Information Pamphlet and Sample Ballot mailed the week of September 18
- Voters decide on extending 1% sales tax program during October 3 regular municipal election