TAXES

Berett Wilber/KUCB

Unalaska needs to be ready to fight for state funding in fiscal year 2021.

City lobbyist Dianne Blumer delivered that message Tuesday to the City Council.

She said she expects Gov. Mike Dunleavy to continue pushing for steep budget cuts to education, health care, and other state services that are critical to the community.

"It's not a promising picture," said Blumer. "I hate to be the gloom and doom here, but I anticipate the cuts that didn't happen this year are going to be taken up again for next session."

Laura Kraegel/KUCB

Continued ferry service and shared fisheries taxes.

These are some of the new lobbying priorities under consideration as the Unalaska City Council prepares for meetings next month with its state and federal lobbyists.

Rachel Cassandra/KCAW

In January, Amazon started collecting sales tax on online purchases made in Unalaska — a move that took residents and city officials by surprise.

KUCB's Laura Kraegel has more on the development that's expected to put new revenue in city coffers by the end of the month.

"So, let's see," says Vic Fisher, pulling up an Amazon receipt on his phone. "Where is 'My Orders'?"

Laura Kraegel/KUCB

The threat of state budget cuts could delay Unalaska's plans to renovate playgrounds, dredge the port, or complete other long-term projects.

Last week, the City Council balked at the local capital budget proposed for fiscal year 2020, which would spend $23.5 million on about 30 projects.

Councilor Shari Coleman said the city needs to be "much more conservative."

Sarah Hansen/KUCB

Mayor Frank Kelty is cautiously optimistic that Unalaska will hold onto its share of fish taxes.

Last week, Gov. Mike Dunleavy proposed legislation that would allow the state to keep millions of dollars in tax revenue from commercial fisheries instead of splitting it — as the state currently does — with coastal communities that receive and process the catch.

Pages