Petersburg Pilot -

The Petersburg Borough Assembly backs state income tax

 


The Petersburg Borough Assembly voted unanimously to pass a resolution opposing a state sales tax and favor a state income tax.

Governor Bill Walker

proposed the idea of a 3 percent statewide sales tax on July 11, during the fifth special session of the 29th Legislature. The proposal was his alternative to an income tax he spoke of

earlier this year as an option to combat the state’s severe financial crisis.

According to the resolution, 110 of 164 municipalities in Alaska currently levy a sales tax. Assembly member Bob Lynn said he liked the

reasoning behind the resolution because an income tax made more sense.

“I totally support going

with an income tax, rather than going with a sales tax, for

quite a number of reasons,” he said. “An income tax

reaches out to all those, even those who make their income in Alaska but then take that out of state.”

Lynn favored the

resolution because he felt an increase in sales tax would have a major impact on Petersburg and hurt other smaller

communities in the state.

He pointed to the fact that a lot of the smaller communities already have a sales

tax in place, while some larger municipalities remain

without a sales tax.

Lynn believed the governor’s proposal for an income tax would

average about $400. Assembly member Jeigh Stanton Gregor agreed with

Lynn, adding further perspective

on who might be impacted the most by a statewide sales tax.

“Sales taxes’ are regressive,

and for those of us who don’t know, regressive taxes hurt the people

on the lowest end of the income

spectrum the most,” Stanton Gregor said. “On an ethical level, I have a

problem with that, it doesn’t seem equitable to me.”

The assembly also

passed a resolution authorizing

Public Work’s request for immediate funds to complete additional

paving on borough streets through its contract with SECON. The resolution made mention of the fact that due to statewide fiscal constraints, now might be the best opportunity to “receive economical paving services for years to come.”

The original paving contract with SECON was $532,085, and the resolution authorized the additional work for $86,000.

The 2016 election report

was also read into record. There are 19

elected positions on the upcoming

annual municipal election

that will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 4. Positions include the following:

mayor, two assembly seats,

two school board seats, four hospital board seats, three planning commission seats, two library board seats, two harbor board

seats and three public safety board

seats.

The first day to file for candidacy is July 26, and paperwork for

potential candidates can be obtained at the borough’s finance office or on

the borough’s website. The last day to

file for candidacy is Aug. 23,

and forms must be received

by 5 p.m.

 

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