City council considers effort to collect sales tax online

The Kodiak City Council will consider an ordinance to set in motion a plan to collect sales tax on items purchased by residents who shop online.

KMXT’s Maggie Wall has more.


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Let’s just face it. One reason people in Kodiak buy online is because they don’t have to pay city sales tax. If you are buying a lot from different sites that tax adds up quickly.

But the city council is working to put the city in a position to collect taxes online.

The whole sales tax online thing is confusing in large part because Alaska is one of the few states that doesn’t have a statewide sales tax. And there’s no systematic way for each of the many communities in Alaska that charge local taxes to collect those taxes in an online transaction.

But the council and city administrators have been working with their counterparts in other areas of the state to make it possible to collect taxes online.

And that brings us to the resolution that the Kodiak City Council is considering at tonight’s regular meeting.

At tonight’s meeting council members will consider a resolution to authorize the City of Kodiak to join what’s known as the Alaska Remote Sellers Sales Tax Commission whose purpose is to develop, implement and enforce a remote sellers tax code.

In order to be part of the commission the city will be required to adopt provisions of a uniform sales tax code for remote sales that the commission will be creating. That new code is expected to spell out how online taxes would be collected and then distributed to the municipalities involved.

In other words, how Amazon and other online businesses will collect the city’s share of tax on your purchase, where the money gets sent, and how it finally gets put into the city’s bank account.

In other business, the Kodiak Police Department may be getting new gear to help protect officers from gunfire. The City’s been awarded a grant totaling nearly $40,000 to purchase new ballistic helmets and hard body armor rifle plates.

According to information in tonight’s meeting packet the new equipment is to increase officer survival when they are responding to an active threat, especially from high powered rifles. The council must first accept the grant from the U.S. Department of Justice.

• Also on tonight’s agenda is the approval of an amendment to a lease which would allow New Singular Wireless to build a generator building near a communications tower on Near Island,
• the authorization of a truck purchase for the Public Works Department, and
• a request to transfer the location of El Chicano’s liquor license.

Tonight’s council meeting begins at 7:30 in the Borough Assembly Chambers. KMXT will broadcast the meeting live.

As a reminder, there is a period near the beginning and the end of each meeting for the public to comment and share concerns or thoughts with the council.


Link to City Council Meeting Agenda and Packet

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