The U.S. Senate this week voted 69-27 in favor of the Marketplace Fairness Act.
While Alaska does not have a statewide sales tax, the City and Borough of Juneau is one of many municipalities with a local tax on the sale of goods and services.
CBJ Finance Director Bob Bartholomew says he’s still studying the Senate bill. But he thinks there might be a way for municipalities to collect local taxes if the Alaska Legislature passes enabling legislation.
“I think we could do it without the state having a sales tax,” Bartholomew says. “But they may have to be involved as far as state legislation helping us standardize things.”
Bartholomew says it’s too soon to speculate what that state legislation might look like. But the types of things that would need to be standardized include the tax rate and exemptions.
He also says it’s too soon to say what, if any, affect the federal or state legislation would have on the amount of sales tax collected by the city.
“The next step for us, especially if it starts making progress in the House, is to get in touch with the State of Alaska and the Alaska Municipal League to see what the next steps are for trying to share the information and get the coordination across the state that we’ll need for implementation,” he says.
Bartholomew says the CBJ’s lobbyists in Washington, D.C. – Chambers, Conlon and Hartwell – will keep track of the Marketplace Fairness Act’s progress in the House.
The City and Borough of Juneau has a five percent sales tax that includes three components: A permanent one-percent tax, a temporary three-percent tax that largely funds essential city services, and a temporary one-percent tax dedicated to capital projects.
- Even though the earthquake didn't lead to a large tsunami, the Warning Center prefers to take a cautious approach.
- The future of the Alaska Marine Highway System is decidedly a Southeast issue. The ferry system has seen cuts in service because of aging vessels and decreased funding. Southeast legislators agree the system is still vital to folks in the region.
- Another five people were also injured in the attack, which authorities say was undertaken by a 15-year-old student Tuesday. Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin says both of those killed were also 15.
- Some programs at Sitka National Historical Park may be under tribal management, as early as this summer. The National Park Service and Sitka Tribe of Alaska have confirmed they are in ongoing negotiations to collaborate on some services in the park in 2018.