Nome city council reduces mill rate, passes budgets

Nome City Hall Building

The Nome Common Council passed several municipal and school district budgets on Monday, June 13 during their regular meeting.

The budgets passed will little fanfare and only one major change – to the mill rate assessed on property owners in city limits.

Nome City Manager Glenn Steckman’s office and staff had recommended an 11-mill rate, meaning $11 taxed on every $1,000 of assessed property value. The council, after a day of workshops and discussion, lowered the mill rate to 10.5.

That will reduce city revenue by just more than $200,000.

“My staff and I have been told to find an additional $215,000 in savings, which we’ll try to find throughout the budget year,” Steckman said.

Even though property assessments saw a nearly 15-percent across-the-board increase for the next fiscal year, Steckman said property owners should see some relief in their tax bill.

“It’s a mill for every $1,000 in value of your property, so whatever you’re assessed at you’ll see a reduction savings, and and that’s important,” Steckman said.

Steckman said the city’s goal is to always provide the best possible services, no matter what the revenue stream looks like.

“We’re trying to address the spine of city services, whether it’s being able to deliver the best fire services, the best ambulance services, the best police services, road services,” Steckman said. “It’s about being in the 21st century instead of being stuck in the 20th century.”

Because Gov. Mike Dunleavy has not yet signed the state’s budget, the city does not know much it will receive in school bond debt reimbursement money.

Steckman said the city is committed to its annual donation to the Nome Public School budget, regardless of what the governor does.

“(Governor Dunleavy) has another 18 days to sign the budget,” Steckman said. “The city’s contribution will still be the same, which is $3.2 million.”

Of note, the budget for the Port of Nome Capital Projects was approved for just more $177.6 million.

Image at top: Nome City Hall building on Front Street. Photo by Brisa Alarcon/KNOM