In this July 2018 file photo, Seine boats wait in line to set their nets at Amalga Harbor. (Kevin Gullufsen | Juneau Empire)

In this July 2018 file photo, Seine boats wait in line to set their nets at Amalga Harbor. (Kevin Gullufsen | Juneau Empire)

Governor proposes redirecting money from fishing communities to state

State would gain an additional $29.1 million in 2020

The governor is proposing taking fishing tax money from municipalities and directing it to the state to help balance his budget.

Senate Bill 63, backed by Gov. Mike Dunleavy, would repeal a revenue sharing provision that is written into the state’s fisheries business tax. Should the bill pass, the state coffers would gain an additional $29.1 million in 2020, according to a fiscal note attached to the bill.

Every year, 50 percent of the fisheries business tax revenue is distributed to Alaska’s fishing communities. The amount each community receives hinges on the how much fish was taxed in that community. If SB 63 passes, the revenue sharing program would end. It is one of many bills that are being proposed to change Alaska statutes so that Dunleavy’s budget proposal is feasible.

[Experts: State could lose tens of thousands of jobs if budget proposal goes through]

The City and Borough of Juneau receives about $400,000 annually as part of this fisheries tax revenue sharing program, according to CBJ Finance Director Bob Bartholomew.

Bartholomew says this money is deposited into the Juneau’s harbor fund, which is about $4 million. So this bill would impose a 10 percent hit on the CBJ’s harbor fund.

“We used some revenue bonds to help pay for a commercial loading float at Auke Bay,” Bartholomew said. “That (loss of fisheries tax revenue sharing) is equivalent to the debt service.”

Bartholomew said the borough would have to figure out a new way of meeting that bond debt service to pay off the commercial loading float if SB 63 is passed. That could mean other harbor projects do not get done, a harbor rate increase, etc.

“We also see this as the beginning of the project,” Bartholomew said. “There’ll be opportunities to make changes”

[Eating Wild: Portuguese Fisherman’s Stew, Southeast Alaska style]

He said the CBJ is still in the process of quantifying the impacts of SB 63 and other budget proposals. Once that is complete, Bartholomew said the borough can move forward.

The Kodiak Island Borough is slated to receive about $81,000 this year from the fisheries tax, according finance director Dora Cross. Cross said this money goes to the Kodiak Borough’s general fund.

In this July 25, 2017 file photo, Chum salmon are delivered to Alaska Glacier Seafoods. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

In this July 25, 2017 file photo, Chum salmon are delivered to Alaska Glacier Seafoods. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

More in News

(Juneau Empire file photo)
Aurora forecast for the week of Feb. 19

These forecasts are courtesy of the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute… Continue reading

Rep. Tom McKay, R-Anchorage, speaks in favor of House Bill 143 on Friday. (Photo by James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Alaska House approves relaxed environmental rules for ‘advanced recycling’

Applies to facilities using high heat or chemicals to turn plastic garbage into raw materials.

Juneau Mayor Beth Weldon (right) discusses the Juneau School District’s financial crisis with school board Vice President Emil Mackey (right) and City Attorney Robert Palmer during a meeting Thursday night at Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Meetings to comment on Assembly’s proposed $9.6M of help to school district scheduled next two Mondays

Plan includes $4.1 million no-interest loan, picking up “shared costs” this year and next.

A crowd overflows the library at Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé on Thursday night as school board members meet to select a consolidation option to help resolve the Juneau School District’s budget crisis. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
School district leaders approve putting grades 9-12 at JDHS, 7-8 and HomeBRIDGE at TMHS

Elementary schools will be K-6; Marie Drake, Floyd Dryden to close this fall if plan gets final OK.

Members of the Alaska House of Representatives celebrate the passage of a sweeping education bill on Thursday. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
House passes $680 BSA increase, with other education provisions

Bill now returns to Senate, which must pass it unchanged before it can head to the governor’s desk.

House Minority Leader Calvin Schrage, I-Anchorage, speaks during Thursday night’s floor debate on an education bill. (Screenshot from akl.tv livestream)
House approves $680 BSA increase, extra support for charter schools in education bill

Bill passes by 38-2 vote, Senate expected to concur with changes after days of negotiations.

Musicians perform Sunday, Feb. 18, 2024, at Devil’s Club Brewing. The event was among the first three allowed under a newly amended state law. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Three Alaska alcohol manufacturers sue state over rule limiting live music and entertainment

Plaintiffs say limit of four events annually at breweries and distilleries violates First Amendment.

A previously unidentified Eastern North Pacific right whale surfaces in the waters of the Gulf of Alaska in September 2023. The discovery of this whale was hailed by scientists studying the critically endangered population. Members of the public are being asked to choose a name for the animal through an online contest that will use bracketed competition. (Photo by Bernardo Alps/NOAA Fisheries, International Whaling Commission and WildSea Inc.)
Agency asks public to name, get to know member of highly endangered Alaska whale population

NOAA wants people online to name Eastern North Pacific right whale spotted in September.

The front page of the Juneau Empire on Feb. 21, 1994. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Empire Archives: Juneau’s history for the week of Feb. 25

Three decades of capital city coverage.

Most Read