Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Bristol Bay villages extend their reach

Here are a couple of Bristol Bay notes.

• A new road is planned to connect the village of Naknek to Pederson Point. The North Pacific Seafoods salmon cannery is located on the point, currently accessible only by taking a four-wheel-drive along the beach at low tide. Paug-Vik Inc., the Native village corporation for Naknek, wants to extend an overland road 1.7 miles from the east to reach Pederson Point. Paug-Vik says the road would provide year-round access to the point and would improve transportation of fish to Naknek, hub of Bristol Bay's salmon industry. For more information and a map, start here.

• The staff of a state agency, the Local Boundary Commission, has recommended approval of the city of Dillingham's petition to annex extensive commercial fishing grounds (map). The staff's conclusion starts on p. 84 of this preliminary report. At the end of the report, you can find letters from people for and against annexing the new territory. The annexation is still subject to commission approval, plus a vote of Dillingham area residents. For background, here's an item published in a recent issue of Pacific Fishing magazine:

Dillingham's expansion plan

The Bristol Bay city of Dillingham wants to get bigger, way bigger, and collect a lot more tax revenue.

To achieve its goals, the city has petitioned the state Local Boundary Commission to annex rich commercial salmon fishing grounds adjacent to town, including the Nushagak District and the Wood River special harvest area. In all, the city of about 36 square miles is seeking to add 396 square miles of water plus three square miles of islands.

In conjunction with the annexation, the city aims to impose a new local raw fish tax. The 2.5 percent levy would raise an estimated $710,833 annually beginning in 2012.

In their petition, Dillingham officials say they need more revenue to cover and improve city services. The city's population of 2,350 people nearly doubles during the summer fishing season, with up to 700 vessels jamming the city harbor. Most are not Dillingham residents, yet they use the harbor, boat ramps, parking areas, restrooms and bathhouse, and benefit from the city's trash hauling, street maintenance and more.

The proposed tax would extend to the roughly 50 percent of Nushagak Bay salmon delivered outside the district for processing, Dillingham's petition says.

Dillingham officials note that wrapping city limits around fishing waters is nothing new. The commission approved it for Egegik, Pilot Point, St. Paul and Togiak.


Anonymous said...

The new Dumpster Tax, will be put to good use cleaning up the trash.


Stuart said...

Dillingham could be so lucky to have there town balloon during the fishing season. Personal Property Tax on our boats, tax on services and tax on everything we purchase from nuts and bolts to registration for the vehicles that are used just a few short weeks. Now they can't manage the money that they do have so they need to come at us for more. The fishermen are the bigest income drivers and spenders. This is goverment doing what they do and it sucks.

2.5% c'mon and we thought the BBRSDA was expensive. I guarantee that this $ will not go to improve fisherman services, except for taking the garbage out.

Anonymous said...

Why not just make it 3%, just like the 1% BBRSDA?
"A reconsideration request must describe in detail the facts and analyses that support
the request for reconsideration. Typically, the LBC will reconsider a decision only if:
• there was a substantial procedural error in the original proceeding;
• the original vote was based on fraud or misrepresentation; or
• new evidence not available at the time of the hearing relating to a matter of
significant public policy has become known"

Those BBRSDA frauds and misrepresentations are in a class by themselves.

Federal law (43 U.S.C. 1973) subjects municipal annexations in Alaska to review under
the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 forbids any change
to municipal jurisdiction that has the purpose or effect of denying or abridging minority
voting rights.
The municipality proposing annexation is responsible for initiating the necessary review
of the annexation proposal by the U.S. Justice Department or U.S. District Court for the
District of Columbia. The review may be initiated once the opportunity for the LBC to
reconsider its decision has expired under 3 AAC 110.580. A request for review prior to
such time would be considered premature (see 28 CFR § 51.22). Annexation will not
take effect until the City provides LBC staff with evidence that the Justice Department
or U.S. District Court has favorably reviewed the annexation proposal (see 3 AAC
110.630). Commission staff is available to assist cities in meeting their obligations
under the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

The BBRSDA tax election, with 15.10% of permit holders required to pass???

The Ben Stevens legislation, from the dumpster divers, in Dillingham!

Anonymous said...

The tax should be equally inclusive so that every business in the district not just the fishing fleet is taxed in the very same equal manner.