Mayors re-elected, sales taxes rejected in local elections

FAIRBANKS, MAT-SU: Lure of lower property taxes doesn't work.

October 7, 2009 

Alaska voters in Fairbanks and the Matanuska-Susitna Borough rejected sales taxes Tuesday.

The Fairbanks 3 percent sales tax proposal was tied to a measure to reduce property taxes. The plan could have increased spending on roads, police and fire protection by $8 million. Former Mayor Steve Thompson, a supporter, said critics used scare tactics to defeat the measure.

In the Mat-Su Borough, voters rejected a proposed 3 percent sales tax. Unofficial results showed nearly 78 percent of voters saying no. The measure would have imposed a property tax limit of 7.3 mills, from the current rate of 9.98 mills

Mat-Su voters also turned down a $31.7 million bond for school renovations.

In Kodiak, a $76 million bond issue to finance expansion and renovation of Kodiak High School was passing, but a $13 million bond issue to renovate Kodiak school and borough buildings was failing.

Ketchikan Gateway Borough voters approved bonds to build a new $23 million pool to replace a nearly 40-year-old pool.

In mayoral races:

• Mat-Su -- Talis Colberg won re-election. The former state attorney general took office initially in June, winning a special election to replace the late Curt Menard, who died in March.

• Juneau -- Bruce Botelho earned a landslide re-election by taking 74 percent of the vote.

• Kodiak -- Carolyn Floyd was leading in her re-election bid.

• Ketchikan -- Lew Williams III won a three-year term. The longtime councilman was appointed mayor in May after Bob Weinstein resigned to work for U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska.

• The field for mayor of the Fairbanks North Star Borough was narrowed. Borough Assembly Members Luke Hopkins and Tammie Wilson will vie in a November runoff election.

The Anchorage Daily News/ contributed to this story.

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