The Mayor’s Office in Anchorage is reporting a $14 million surplus after revising its first-quarter budget.
The Administration says the extra funds are from cost saving measures in department’s across the municipality, as well as lower fuel costs from less-than-expected snow plow and removal this winter. Four-and-a-half million dollars came from an unanticipated increase in revenues, according to a spokesperson from the Mayor’s office.
The exact amount of the surplus that will be re-applied to next year’s budget can’t be determined until lawmakers in Juneau make final spending decisions this session. Mayor Ethan Berkowitz has said the surplus will likely go toward tax-relief for property owners and increasing the city’s fund balance.
The Berkowitz administration inherited an $11 million deficit shortly after coming into office. To close the budget gap, the city’s Assembly passed a controversial measure modifying how the local tax-cap is calculated. Fiscal conservatives have objected to that switch, and are pushing for passage of Ballot Measure 8 on the April 5th election to restore the previous formula. The issue has emerged as a key among conservative candidates in several of the races for seats on the Assembly.