Letter: You betcha we need a bed tax!

You betcha we need a bed tax!

The Kenai Peninsula Borough is financially struggling to provide our basic services…..and it has been. Our borough assembly is going to either raise taxes on those of us living or we’re going to see a bed tax on tourists and visitors from other places coming to this peninsula and enjoying the current free ride they have been getting, compared to visiting other parts of our country.

I have been involved with marketing, convention planning, and organizing meetings for more than 30 years, hosting more than a dozen statewide and national meetings within various communities of our great state during that time, and all have had a so-called bed tax to help pay for services visitors and tourists benefit from when they go there. Think of it … our public parks and many with free restrooms, country roads and their maintenance, police department protection, fire protection, EMS services, beaches and river access…to name a few. A portion of the bed tax should go to communities providing local services for these travelers.

Anchorage leads the way with a 12 percent bed tax. Don’t we have as much to offer on this fabulous tourist mecca as our big neighbor? I am not one to say we should have it because they have it. We should do it because for years visitors and tourists to our Peninsula have been getting a bit of a free ride at our expense. They need to help pay the bill.

Tourism is a rapidly growing renewable resource in Alaska and on this Ppeninsula, and tourism/visitors need to help with a bit of financing the services we provide.

It’s either we, all of us residents, paying more tax or our visitors paying their fair share. It is going to happen.

I encourage you, a Kenai Peninsula Borough resident, to turn out for the borough assembly meeting next Tuesday evening June 19, at 6 p.m. at the borough building in Soldotna, and let your voice be heard. The hoteliers and B & B folks will be there opposing this in full swing as before, but you betcha, we need a bed tax implemented.

Peter O. Hansen

Kenai

More in Opinion

A roll of “I Voted” stickers await voters on Election Day in Alaska. Voters overwhelmingly rejected the prospect of a state constitutional convention. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: Election winners, losers and poor losers

Tshibaka and Palin misread Alaskans by thinking Trump’s endorsement all but guaranteed they’d win.

This 1981 photo provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows an electron micrograph of Respiratory Syncytial Virus, also known as RSV. Children’s hospitals in parts of the country are seeing a distressing surge in RSV, a common respiratory illness that can cause severe breathing problems for babies. Cases fell dramatically two years ago as the pandemic shut down schools, day cares and businesses. Then, with restrictions easing, the summer of 2021 brought an alarming increase in what is normally a fall and winter virus. (CDC via AP)
Alaska Voices: What Alaskans need to know about RSV

By learning more about respiratory illnesses and taking helpful actions, we can all take steps to improve the situation

Homer Foundation
Point of View: Multiplying the power of every local dollar given

Each community foundation is a public charity that focuses on supporting a geographic area by pooling donations to meet community needs

The Homer Public Library as seen on Aug. 18, 2021, in Homer, Alaska. (File photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)
Point of View: Banning books corrodes diversity and inclusion in our community

Recently, a community member requested that a long list of books be removed from the children’s collection

Peninsula Oilers fans display encouragin signs for Oilers’ pitcher Bryan Woo, Friday, June 28, 2019, at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)
Gavel (Courtesy photo)
Opinion: Judging judges — balancing the judicial selection process

Alaska’s method of selecting judges can be and should be improved.

Sarah Palin speaks at a July 11 Save America Rally featuring former President Donald Trump at Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: The realities of Palin’s political demise

Palin wouldn’t be running for the seat if Rep. Don Young was still alive

Former Democratic state Rep. Beth Kerttula holds up a sign reading “Vote No Con Con,” during a recent rally at the Dimond Courthouse Plaza in Juneau. Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: What can a liberal and conservative agree on? Voting against a constitutional convention

“We disagree on many issues. But we… urge Alaskans to vote against Proposition 1.”

A “Vote Here” sign is seen at the City of Kenai building on Monday, Sept. 21, 2020, in Kenai, Alaska. (Clarion file)
Down to the wire: Be prepared before you vote

Remember your voice counts and all votes matter

Soldotna City Council member Justin Ruffridge. (Courtesy photo)
Voices of the Peninsula: We must refuse to reward ugly political tactics

With our vote we have to show that extremism and dishonesty do not win the day

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski attends a joint Soldotna and Kenai Chamber of Commerce Luncheon on Wednesday, May 5, 2021 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski attends a joint Soldotna and Kenai Chamber of Commerce Luncheon on Wednesday, May 5, 2021 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Voices of the Peninsula: Lisa Murkowski represents everyday Alaskans

While working for Lisa, I witnessed her considerable command of the issues