Juneau votes down controversial arts center


In a local election that pitted  an ambitious arts community against the rest of Juneau taxpayers, voters turned down Prop. 3, a grant measure that would help pay for a new Juneau Arts and Cultural Center.

While the first ballot proposition passed – to increase the hotel bed tax by 2 percent for repairs to Centennial Hall, Prop. 2, to borrow through bonds some $7 million for upgrades to the aging hall, failed narrowly, and Prop. 3 went down 59-41, a resounding defeat. It would have granted $4.5 million for the new JACC, paid for with sales tax.

All three measures were focused on Centennial Hall and the hoped-for arts center, which would have been connected to Centennial Hall via a covered walkway. Meanwhile, several schools are in serious need of repairs, but these were not on the ballot.

The Partnership, the group that has led the initiative to build the more than 44,000-square-foot arts center, was headed up by former Juneau Mayor and the architect of the Gov. Bill Walker Administration, Bruce Botelho, and former Justice Walter “Bud’ Carpeneti.

Turnout was 23.4 percent in Juneau’s election. There are 1,500 early votes to count plus questioned ballots yet to be counted:


  1. Props 2 and 3 failed. The hotel bed tax passed which will bring Juneau’s tax rate on rooms to 14%.

  2. I think Prop 2 will still pass. It’s only down by 16 votes and I think early voting ? could break its way.

  3. I do not understand why so many voted to increase the bed tax. Do they not understand that they are penalizing a particular industry sector unfairly? Stick it to the companies, I guess. 14% is outlandish. We will see this reflected throughout our economy.

  4. Funny how the governor and citizens acknowledge there is a budget deficit but local governments, not so much.

  5. 23.4% voter turnout in Juneau!!
    That’s nothing to be proud of! Get it together folks!! Those stats are a disgrace.

    • Remember here that there are another approximately 2000 early and absentee votes to be included later.

  6. The price of the new JACC was $1000 per every man, woman and child in Juneau. It was an insane proposition from its inception. Too big for such a small, isolated town.

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