Mayor’s office reporting $14 million surplus from first quarter

The Mayor’s Office in Anchorage is reporting a $14 million surplus after revising its first-quarter budget.

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Mayor Ethan Berkowitz (Photo courtesy of Municipality of Anchorage)
Mayor Ethan Berkowitz (Photo courtesy of Municipality of Anchorage)

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.