Sales tax? Get real
Here’s an idea whose time has not yet come: Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan wants to schedule a series of public forums to get the public’s take on whether to institute a sales tax. He says he is not pushing the idea, but has heard complaints that the property tax is too high.
Mind you, voters have said “no” to the idea of a sales tax at least four times in recent memory – by a 70-30 split in 2006. In fact, because of a charter change aimed at driving a stake in the heart of the idea once and for all, it would take 60 percent of voters voting “yes” to adopt such a tax.
Is a sales tax really the goal? If the idea is to get something on the ballot to get conservative super voters to the voting booth at the next election to have a say on the repeal of Ordinance 37, the recent labor law rewrite, the idea of hashing out a sales tax makes sense. If the idea is to really get a sales tax, we could all save our time.
Taxpayers in Anchorage are unlikely to approve a new sales tax – no matter what pie-in-the-sky promises politicians make – unless and until the property tax goes away. No seasonal sales tax. No “golly, we will reduce property taxes dollar-for-dollar by what a sales tax brings in.” No this. No that. Mostly, no sales tax.
It is a wonderful idea to kick around but, really, it is going nowhere.