With the borough assembly’s support, Skagway residents may vote this fall on a one percent sales tax increase. The tax hike would be used to fund a recreation center expansion, including an aquatic wellness center.
Increasing sales tax as a mechanism to fund the rec center expansion came up last year. But the idea failed to gain traction because the assembly was divided on whether the revenue should go to just the rec center or to major projects generally.
Since then, committees working on plans for the rec center and pool have whittled down the design and cost estimate by a couple million dollars. The projected cost is still expensive, about $17 million.
At recent meetings, some assembly members have balked at the price tag. But they’ve also voiced support for letting the voters decide.
At a meeting this week, the assembly may decide to introduce the ordinance, which would move it to a public hearing. If it passes, a bond question amending the sales tax would go on the Oct. 3 municipal election ballot.
In the 2016 election, Skagway residents narrowly approved a $6 million bond for a senior center and housing facility. That bond may be repaid through property tax increases.
This week’s assembly meeting is set for Thursday at 7 p.m. in assembly chambers.