Hard left organizations and the Fairbanks public teachers’ union are pressing residents to approve a $10 million dollar increase in additional borough taxes to benefit Fairbank’s shrinking government-run school system.

Early and absentee voting is already underway for the May 7 election. More than 30 polling locations across Fairbanks and North Pole will be open for in-person voting from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on election day.

The question before area taxpayers is this: “Shall the Fairbanks North Star Borough be authorized to increase its maximum allowable tax revenue for areawide taxes by $10,000,000 to fund education? The additional tax revenue includes taxes from any areawide source, including property taxes, tobacco excise tax, hotel-motel room tax, alcoholic beverage tax, or marijuana and marijuana product sales tax. If the additional revenue is solely raised through property tax revenue, it is the equivalent of approximately 1 mill or $100 per $100,000 of assessed taxable value of real property.”

Spearheaded by Borough Mayor Bryce Ward and Assemblywoman Savannah Fletcher, the Fairbanks Borough Assembly approved the tax question back in February. If residents agree vote to fork over additional taxes, the borough would no longer be under the current voter-initiated and approved tax revenue cap, but would usher in a new cap that empowers local government to collect $10 million annually, just for schools.

The massive tax hike proposal comes at a time when the Fairbanks School Board has approved a litany of controversial classes, sex education programs and woke curriculum focused on critical race theory and the LGBTQ agenda. This has spurred a mass exodus of students, many of whom are now in homeschooling or private education. Combined with inflation and unsustainable retirement and benefit packages for teachers and administrators, the school district claims it is facing a $28 million deficit for fiscal year 24-25.

During the past two years, the district has closed three schools, and laid off dozens of teachers with more planned next year.

Despite the loss of schools, teachers and students, educational bureaucrats and activist organizations want more, not less, money. For much of the current legislative session, lawmakers have been pressed to pass legislation that would flood schools with hundreds of millions of dollars in additional funding with no strings or academic accountability measures attached.

The Fairbanks ordinance authorizing the tax increase vote does not define how schools would be able to use the additional $10 million, but does state that the current tax cap should not “impose limitations to amounts that are needed for critical services such as public education.”

Last year, the assembly forked over four million dollars from borough savings to the school district. That money is no longer available.


— For information about voting times, dates and locations click here. For more information, contact the Borough Clerk’s Office by phone (907) 459-1401 or email at

Click here to support Alaska Watchman reporting.

Fairbanks has until May 7 to vote on $10M tax hike for shrinking public schools

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.


  • Proud Alaskan says:

    I hope Fairbanks gets the message, No more taxes.
    Why do some people bite the hand that feeds them, as in, if you don’t give them more and more, they prefer to sever ties and get nothing from you. These people are called users. They don’t care about you except as a source of good things.
    I’m so glad that Fairbanks parents, opened their eyes and took there children out of these, controversial classes, sex education programs and woke curriculum focused on critical race theory and the LGBTQ agenda.

    • Jeanette Exner says:

      Woke, woke, woke. That’s all I hear from conservatives, that everything’s gone “woke.” Yet ask them what “woke” means, and you’ll get a wide variety of answers. What used to be a term used by Blacks to mean awareness of the potential for unfair treatment …. has now unfortunately been co-opted by right-wingers as a convenient dog-whistle referring to a lengthy laundry list of cultural grievances. At best it’s just a trendy new term for political correctness. It’s really pathetic.

      • Daddio says:

        The left created the term “woke” and the left garbled its own definition of it. Originally meaning to seek out injustice or unfair treatment even when there was none, it went on to include the left’s intentional misrepresentation of words (doublespeak) and the hijacking of power structures to create inequality.
        The right, (as well as the libertarians and even moderate liberals), seeing the malevolent stupidity of the “woke activists”, now use it as a pejorative catch phrase to describe all the behaviors of the leftist cabal of lunatics. Get used to it.

      • Elizabeth Henry says:

        Oh you mean like all the words ‘co-opted’ by the left? Words such as ‘liberal’, ‘pro’, ‘affordable’ , ‘hate’, ‘assault’, to name only a few of the myriad of words now used erroneously, to mean different things and illicit emotion. Add in also the popular leftist strategies illusory truth effect and psychological projection that you are using in your comment – essentially the ‘ pot calling the kettle black’ as the folk saying used to go. As for the word ‘woke’ – it was ‘co-opted’ to mean something entirely different from its original meaning of ‘awake’. Co-opted by the left leaning

      • Barney Williams says:

        Libertarians are just boys who haven’t had to pay their own bills yet. It’s not a political stance it’s a symptom of poor parenting.

      • Friend of Humanity says:

        Jeanette, you say that “you’ll get a wide variety of answers.” Well, what do you expect when the left is doing everything under the sun to make everything in this world upside-down, backwards and messed up. Open your eyes to your own ways and then think about how pathetic your statement is.

      • Janice Irvine says:

        Bingo. It’s a symptom of out-of-touch older people clinging to power and not knowing what is going on around them. If we keep running ineffectual clowns like Haney and Bronson, we are going to keep losing ground. Alaska is already turning purple with all of the Californians moving in.