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

Meals slated for children in Juneau over Thanksgiving weekend are arrayed on tables at Thunder Mountain High School on Nov. 25, 2020. (Courtesy photo / Luke Adams)
Font of plenty: JSD readies meals for Thanksgiving holiday

Nearly three tons of food got distributed for the long weekend.

Travelers arrive at the Juneau International Airport on Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020, made up only about half of what the airport normally sees in the days leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Centennial Hall, seen here on Tuesday, Nov. 24, is being used by the City and Borough of Juneau as an emergency facility during the coronavirus pandemic and will not host the annual Public Market which has taken place every weekend after Thanksgiving since 1983. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Want to buy Alaskan? Closed by pandemic, Public Market goes virtual

Normally throngs of Juneauites would be lined up around the block…

To capture the unexpected action- the unrepeatable moment- it should be instinctive.  In order to build the story you have to shoot the adjective.  In this photo the bald eagle had waited patiently for the right moment to pounce on an unsuspecting vole… the unexpected.  The best way to accomplish this is to master the art of the most difficult subject to photograph– birds in flight.  In order to do this you must learn your gear; it must become part of your muscle memory so you can concentrate on the story you are witnessing.  Canon 5D Mark III, Tamron 150-600mm, shot at 600mm, ISO AUTO (1250), F6.3, 1/3200, Handheld. (Courtesy Photo / Heather Holt)
Focal Point: Great photos are just waiting in the wings

Learn to shoot the verb (and the bird).

Has it always been a police car. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire)
Police calls for Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Construction of the new Glory Hall, above, is going smoothly, said executive director Mariya Lovishchuk on Nov. 24, 2020. (Courtesy photo / Thor Lindstam)
Building a brighter future: New Glory Hall reaches skyward

The structure is rapidly progressing, shouldering aside inclement weather.

This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. On Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, the top U.S. public health agency said that coronavirus can spread greater distances through the air than 6 feet, particularly in poorly ventilated and enclosed spaces. But agency officials continued to say such spread is uncommon, and current social distancing guidelines still make sense. (NIAID-RML via AP)
COVID at a glance for Tuesday, Nov. 24

The most recent state and local numbers.

Most Read