Section 5-1 Fiscal Year

The fiscal year of the city government shall begin on the first day of January and shall end on the last day of December, unless otherwise provided by ordinance.

Section 5-2 Budget: Preparation and Submission

At least five weeks before the beginning of the fiscal year, the city manager shall prepare and submit to the council a proposed budget for the next fiscal year, which shall contain detailed estimates of anticipated revenues and proposed expenditures for the year. The total of such proposed expenditures shall not exceed the total of such anticipated revenues. The budget shall be in such form and have such contents as the council may require. The budget and any budget message accompanying it, shall be a public record in the office of the city clerk, and shall be open to public inspection. Sufficient copies of the budget and any budget message shall be made for distribution to persons on request.

Section 5-3 Same: Public Hearing

The council shall hold a public hearing on the proposed budget at least one week after a notice of the time of the hearing has been published; and any interested person shall have an opportunity to be heard thereat for or against the estimates or any item thereof. The council may continue the hearing at later meetings.

Section 5-4 Same: Amendment – Adoption – Appropriations

The council may insert, strike out, increase or decrease items in the budget, and may otherwise amend it. The council, by vote of at least a majority of its members, not later than the third day before the beginning of the fiscal year, shall adopt the budget and make the appropriations for the next fiscal year. If the council fails to adopt the budget and make the appropriations on or before that day, the budget, as submitted or as amended, as the case may be, shall go into effect and be deemed to have been finally adopted by the council; and the proposed expenditures therein shall become the appropriations for the next fiscal year. The appropriations, when made by the council by resolution or ordinance separate from the budget document, need not be in as great detail as the proposed expenditures in the budget; but appropriations shall never exceed the anticipated revenues in the budget.

Section 5-5 Same: Funds Other than the General Fund

The budget herein provided for shall include the general fund, and may also include other funds but in separate estimates. Budgets for other funds which are deemed to require formal budgeting, may also be prepared, considered, and adopted separately from the budget of the general fund.

Section 5-6 Transfer of Appropriation Balances

The council, by motion, resolution or ordinance passed by vote of a majority of all its members, may transfer unencumbered appropriation balances or parts thereof from any item of appropriation to any other item of appropriation, including new items, whether or not such other item is within the same department, office or agency.

Section 5-7 Taxation: Powers

The city shall have all powers of taxation which home rule cities may have under the state constitution and law.

Section 5-8 Same: Assessment, Levy and Collection of Property Taxes – Exemptions

The council by ordinance shall provide for the annual assessment, levy and collection of taxes on property. No exemptions from taxation except those expressly provided by law or ordinance, shall be allowed.

Section 5-9 Same: Private Leaseholds, etc., in Property Owned or Held by the United States, the State or Its Political Subdivisions

Private leaseholds, contracts, or interests in land or property owned or held by the United States, the state or its political subdivisions, shall be taxable to the extent of the interests.

Section 5-10 Same: Assessment – Equalization

The taxable status of property shall be determined as of the first day of January or such other date as may hereafter be prescribed by law or ordinance, which is called the assessment day. Values on the assessment rolls shall be determined according to the facts existing on the assessment day for the year for which the assessment is made, and no change in the status of property after that day shall be considered in determining its value. In determining such values, any standards of appraisal established by law or ordinance shall be followed. The council shall equalize valuations of property assessed; provided that the council by ordinance may delegate this power to a board created by ordinance, when not prohibited by law.

Section 5-11 Same: Lien on Real Property

The city shall have a first lien on all real property against which city taxes are assessed, for the taxes and any collection charges, penalties and interest which may accumulate thereto; and the lien shall continue until the taxes and any such charges, penalties and interest are paid.

Section 5-12 Same: Protection of Lien on Real Property

The city may protect its lien for taxes on real property by sale at tax sale, or by purchasing the real property at any tax sale or other public sale, or by direct negotiation with the owner, or in any other legal manner. Any such procedure shall be deemed to be for a public purpose. When the city has acquired an interest in real property to protect a tax lien thereon, the owner of any interest in such real property may redeem the same by paying the delinquent city taxes and all accrued charges, penalties and interest thereon, as provided by law or ordinance. After the city has held any tax-delinquent real property for such period as required by law, it may hold the same for public use or sell it. (Amended by Res. 95-1811 approved at 10/3/95 regular election)

Section 5-13 Same: Protection of Lien on Personal Property

City taxes on personal property shall be a debt to the city from the persons to whom they are assessed. If any person to whom such taxes are assessed fails or refuses to pay the taxes, such taxes, and accrued charges, penalties and interest may be collected by a personal action in the name of the city against the person to whom assessed in a court of competent jurisdiction, or by distraint and sale of any personal property of the person assessed. Neither of the remedies herein given shall be exclusive of the other or of any remedy provided by law.

Section 5-14 Disbursements: Authority – Method

Disbursements of city funds shall be made only in accordance with appropriations made as provided in this charter, or, in case of funds which are not formally appropriated, then by authority granted by the council or by the qualified voters of the city. The council shall prescribe the method or methods of disbursing city funds.

Section 5-15 Deposit and Investment of Funds

The council shall regulate the deposit and investment of city funds, and shall determine what funds of the city may be invested. City funds may be invested only in the following: General-obligation bonds and other general-obligation evidences of indebtedness of the United States, of the State of Alaska, of other states of the United States, of this city, of other cities of this state, and of boroughs of this state; and such other securities as may be authorized by law.

Section 5-16 Purchases and Sales

The city manager, subject to any regulations which the council may prescribe, shall contract for and purchase or issue purchase authorizations for, all supplies, materials and equipment for the offices, departments and agencies of the city government. Every such contract or purchase exceeding an amount to be established by ordinance, shall require the prior approval of the council. The city manager also may transfer to or between offices, departments and agencies, or sell surplus or obsolete supplies, materials and equipment, subject to such regulations as the council may prescribe.

Before the contract for or purchase, sale, or lease of, any services, supplies, materials, equipment, or other personal property, or the sale or lease of any real property owned by the city, ample opportunity for competitive bidding, under such regulations, and with such exceptions, as the council may prescribe, shall be given; but the council shall not except a particular contract, purchase, sale, or lease from the requirement of competitive bidding unless:

(a)    It does so in the manner provided in Section 5-17(2) of this charter with the additional requirement that an affirmative vote of at least five members of the council shall be required for the final passage of an ordinance excepting a particular contract, purchase, sale, or lease: or

(b)    By emergency ordinance, as provided in Section 2-14 of this charter.

The council by ordinance may transfer some or all of the power granted to the city manager by this section to an administrative officer appointed by the city manager. (Amended by Res. 973 §1, approved at a special election held November 13, 1973)

Section 5-17 Contracts and Sales

(a)    Any contract which by its terms will not be fully executed within five years and which cannot be terminated by the city upon not more than one month’s notice without penalty; and (b) the sale or lease of any city property, real or personal, or the sale or other disposal of any interest therein, the value of which property, lease, or interest is more than $30,000.00, shall be made only:

(1)    By authority of an ordinance approved or enacted at an election by an affirmative vote of a majority of the qualified voters of the city who vote on the question of approving or enacting the ordinance (the ordinance being submitted to the voters by the council or by initiative of the voters); or

(2)    By authority of a non-emergency ordinance passed by the council, which shall be published in full within ten days after its passage, and which shall include a section reading substantially as follows: “Section____. If one or more referendum petitions with signatures are properly filed within one month after the passage and publication of this ordinance, this ordinance shall not go into effect until the petition or petitions are finally found to be illegal and/or insufficient, or, if any such petition is found legal and sufficient, until the ordinance is approved at an election by a majority of the qualified voters voting on the question. If no referendum petition with signatures is filed, this ordinance shall go into effect one month after its passage and publication.”

Provided that an entire public utility belonging to the city may be sold or leased only by authority of an ordinance approved or enacted as provided in subdivision (1) above in this section.

Section 5-18 Public Improvements

Public improvements, including local improvements, may be made by the city government itself or by contract. The council shall award all contracts for such improvements; provided that the council may authorize the city manager to award such contracts not exceeding an amount to be determined by the council and subject to such regulations as the council may prescribe. Except as provided hereinafter, every contract for public improvements of more than $50,000 shall be awarded to the lowest and best responsible bidder after such notice and opportunity for bidding as the council may prescribe. The council may, by non-emergency ordinance and upon a finding that it is in the best interests of the city, establish exceptions to the notice, bidding and award provisions of this section provided that any such exception is not based solely upon the amount of the contract. Contracts for public improvement which exceed $5,000, but which do not exceed $50,000 may be awarded by solicitation for written quotations made to at least three contractors. All bids may be rejected, and further notice and opportunity for competitive bidding may be given. (Amended by Resolution 93-1727 §2, approved by voters October 5, 1993)

Section 5-19 Personal Interest

Subject to all other applicable Charter provisions and city ordinances, the mayor, any councilperson, or any city employee may sell to, barter with, or buy from the city only as provided below:

(a)    Sales to the city:

(1)    A sale to the city for $500.00 or less is permitted if it is at a price prevailing in the community.

(2)    A sale to the city at any price is permitted if:

(A)    at least three (3) written quotes are presented to the council and the council selects the quote which is the most advantageous to the city; or

(B)    an invitation to bid is published requesting sealed bids and the city selects the bid which is the most advantageous to the city.

(b)    Purchase from the city:

(1)    Purchase from, or barter exchange with, the city for $500.00 or less or equivalent value is permitted if it is at a price or rate prevailing in the community and such purchase or exchange is offered to the public; or

(2)    Purchase from or barter exchange with the city for any amount or equivalent value is permitted if an invitation to bid is published requesting sealed bids and the city selects the bid which is the most advantageous to the city. (Amended by Res. 1633, approved by voters October 2, 1990)

Section 5-20 Claims for Injuries

(a)    In order to safeguard and preserve public funds and to avoid unnecessary litigation, no civil action shall be commenced against the city nor shall the city be liable for any claim until and unless the claimant shall serve or cause to be served upon an officer of the city upon whom process may be served, a written notice stating that the claimant intends to hold the city liable for such claims. Such written notice shall set forth substantially the nature and extent of the claim, the time and place it arose, the manner in which it occurred, the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of all known witnesses and persons having knowledge of any information in any way pertaining to the claim, and a description of all known evidence pertaining to the claim and location of such evidence. Such written notice of claim shall be verified by the claimant or the person submitting such written notice on behalf of the claimant, and shall be presented to the council for action except as provided in subsection (b) below.

(b)    The authority to settle and compromise, or to deny, certain claims against the city which are presented in the manner provided for in subsection (a) above is hereby given and delegated to the city manager. Such claims shall be as designated by ordinance of the council. (Amended by Resolution 1591, §2, approved by voters October 3, 1989: Ord. 904 §1, 1978)

Section 5-21 Independent Annual Audit

The council shall designate a qualified public accountant or accountants who shall make an independent audit of the accounts and evidences of financial transactions of the department of finance and of all other departments, offices and agencies keeping separate or subordinate accounts or making financial transactions, as of the end of every fiscal year at least, and who shall report to the council and to the city manager within four months. In lieu of the above, the council may arrange with an appropriate state authority for such an audit when and if permitted by law.