Anchorage considers rental car tax

Tax plan would raise $3 million each year, according to to boosters

Posted: Wednesday, February 16, 2000

ANCHORAGE - The Anchorage Assembly is sending a rental car tax to the city's voters.

Backers of the tax say it will raise $3 million a year, help retain city services and avoid property tax increases in the face of state funding cuts and a proposed property tax cap.

The assembly voted Tuesday night to put the proposed tax on the April 4 municipal ballot.

The proposition calls for renters to pay an 8 percent tax. The maximum charged would be $120 every 30 days for cars and $240 on vans, trucks and recreational vehicles.

Three assembly members voted against the plan. The city should run itself more efficiently first, member Allan Tesche said. ``I cannot go back to my constituents and say, `I took the easy way out, I taxed the tourists,''' he said.

At a hearing last fall, rental car companies voiced some concerns about having to change computer programs and other operating practices, but expressed few worries about the impact, said Assemblyman Dan Sullivan, who chairs the budget committee.

The assembly settled on the rental car tax because it would have less impact than a sales tax, which Anchorage does not have, Sullivan said.

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