Short-handed Assembly Votes Down Sales Tax

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Maggie Wall/KMXT

The Kodiak Island Borough Assembly will not go forward with a proposal to put a sales tax on the fall ballot.

KMXT’s Maggie Wall attended last night’s regular assembly meeting and has this report.

(Boro Tax Out 4:18 "Last nights meeting … made a purchase. SOC")

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Last night’s borough assembly meeting was relatively short and not well attended. Especially since the subject of a sales tax was on the agenda.

Only a few people spoke out about the proposal, which Borough Manager Rick Gifford explained would put the question of a tax on the ballot for voters to decide:

(Boro Tax Out 1)

After the meeting, Borough Mayor Jerome Selby described the proposed sales tax as an arrow in a quiver-it would give the borough another tool to use to raise money to pay the school bond. By law, right now, the only arrow in the borough’s quiver is property taxes.

Assembly Member Pat Branson lays out the options:

(Boro Tax Out 2)

It was that aspect of projecting costs that concerned Assembly Member Judy Fulp. She said she thought the proposal for the voters was too vague and lacked specifics:

(Boro Tax Out 3)

In the end it was Fulp’s NO vote that killed the measure. The final vote was 3 to 1-three in favor and 1 opposed. That isn’t enough yes votes to carry a measure. There are seven members on the assembly and a majority of the total assembly-or 4 members-must vote in favor of a measure for it to pass. Since there were only 4 members present at last night’s meeting, one opposing vote was enough to kill the measure.

In terms of public comments, they ran the full range. From opposition to the tax, to opposition to increasing the mil rate for property owners, to a suggestion that the borough implement a 6 percent sales tax to match the city’s tax-and to apply it only outside the city. That way everyone would be paying 6 percent no matter where they made a purchase.

I’m Maggie Wall.

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