Diversify with a sales tax

Diversify with a sales tax

Citizen Tax Saving Suggestion

Mayor Sullivan I am a new resident of Anchorage been here for little over a year. I love the area. But I have one nagging question why doesn't the city have a sales tax. I cannot believe that ya'll punish home ownership and put the debt of the city on all the property owners. You have plenty of visitors to the city that should be paying for goods and services, they use them just like everybody else. What about all the people that live in the valley that work in Anchorage and don't pay for any of these services.

Shawn,
Anchorage

Response: 

Dear Shawn, Thanks for writing.  I too favor a consumption tax for all the reasons you mentioned.  Years ago, Anchorage residents voted to make any sales tax subject to a vote of the people, and it requires a 60% majority of the voters to say yes in order to pass.  This hurdle has been too high for any sales tax to pass, except for the tax on rental cars passed back in 2003 (I sponsored that ballot proposition when I was on the Anchorage Assembly).  Changing the 60% rule requires an amendment to the city charter, which means at least 8 (out of 11) Assembly members must approve in order to place it on the ballot, another high hurdle.  Despite these roadblocks, there is a new effort underway, led by Assembly member Ernie Hall, to again consider a sales tax. Maybe the public is finally ready to diversify our tax base.

Dan Sullivan,
Mayor

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