City to gather facts before debating tax

Posted: Thursday, September 11, 2008

JUNEAU - City staff in the coming months will look into details about which foods might be exempt from the 5 percent general sales tax and how it could affect revenue, the Juneau Assembly decided Wednesday.

The idea to eliminate tax on food was brought forth this week by Assembly member Sara Chambers. She originally asked that a task force be formed to look into the details, but said Wednesday she expected staff to bring the details to a future meeting.

"I think it's prudent to gather the information before making any rash decisions," Chambers said.

The city collects $42.5 million annually through the general sales tax, and food sales in 2005 generated about $4 million to $5 million in revenue.

Chambers promised to keep the idea at the forefront of city government.

"I will continue to work with the mayor to push the issue," she said. "Hopefully it will come to us sooner rather than later, because people need relief in this area."

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