In this Friday, July 27, 2018 file photo, the logo for Amazon is displayed on a screen at the Nasdaq MarketSite. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, file)

In this Friday, July 27, 2018 file photo, the logo for Amazon is displayed on a screen at the Nasdaq MarketSite. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, file)

Cities grapple with online retailer taxation

Cities grapple with online retailer taxation

Amazon has started charging sales tax in the Kenai Peninsula Borough and municipalities are struggling to work out the logistics.

Earlier this month, Amazon filed to start collecting and paying sales taxes but zip codes in the borough overlap between borough and cities, making it difficult to separate purchases made inside and outside of city limits.

Kenai City Councilmember Tim Navarre is concerned that residents are being taxed unfairly.

“The public does have a right to be upset,” Navarre said at a recent council meeting. “They are getting taxed and there is not a process in place. They are collecting the tax, and how do we know in which jurisdiction. People in Nikiski under 99611 are getting taxed and I don’t want the city of Kenai to have that.”

Kenai City Council plans to address the issue with a resolution introduction at their next meeting. The Alaska Municipal League also created a working group to address the issue, with the hopes of having a correct way to apply sales tax for online retailers by later this spring.

In the meantime, Kenai City Attorney Scott Bloom said that customers who believe they’ve been improperly taxed can reach out to the borough and Amazon to address the issue.

“We’ve been trying our best to work with the borough,” Bloom said. “I anticipate them doing something pretty shortly, as far as introducing legislation at the borough level.”

Reach Kat Sorensen at ksorensen@peninsulaclarion.com.

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