Consider sales tax before revenue sharing

Letter to the editor

Posted: Thursday, May 03, 2007

It blows me away that Anchorage, in anticipating municipal revenue sharing, would promise to give its residents "tax relief" payments.

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I have attempted to figure out exactly what the city's mileage rate is, but I have been unable to get a clear picture of either that or the rate of assessment. Nevertheless, I suspect it does not approach the rate we in smaller communities pay - 12 mills in Petersburg, plus a 7 percent sales tax on all goods and services.

It is often forgotten in Juneau and Anchorage that much of our local budgets have to be supplemented by personal donations. Our high schools can't afford to field baseball teams, musical groups and other school activities. These are either all or partially paid for by community efforts, essentially a further tax on those who can afford to pay. Last time I looked, Anchorage didn't even have a sales tax, something I think it should start with before coming to the table with other mayors.

Beyond that, it is hard to argue that the cost of living in these smaller communities is much higher than the larger municipalities. Perhaps Anchorage should share that proposed $22 million with those less fortunate rather than those with appreciated property values.

Eric Rosvold


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