Voices of the Peninsula: Vote Yes on Proposition 1 for seasonal grocery tax relief

  • By James Price
  • Wednesday, September 30, 2015 7:34pm
  • Opinion

Proposition One is our grocery tax referendum that will GET RID OF THE SEASONAL/WINTER GROCERY TAX (September through May) in the cities of Soldotna and Seldovia, and will keep it off in Homer:

■ In 2008 VOTERS APPROVED a seasonal grocery tax exemption which removed the borough’s 3% sales tax.

■ The 2008 exemption WAS AUTHORIZED TO ALSO REMOVE THE CITIES’ GROCERY TAX during the winter. HOWEVER, just 3 weeks before the 2008 election, the Borough Assembly approved Ordinance 2008-28 which authorized the general law cities TO CONTINUE TO TAX YOUR GROCERIES ANYWAY, thereby DISENFRANCHISING THE WILL OF THE VOTERS

■ Proposition One WILL UPHOLD the other half of the 2008 voter approved grocery tax exemption by REPEALING Ordinance 2008-28 and will REMOVE THE BOROUGH’S AUTHORIZATION for general law cities to continue to tax your winter groceries.

Proposition One is designed to provide direct tax relief for residents at minimum cost to local government:

■ The city of Soldotna’s total revenue has increased by over $1,680,000 from FY2013 to FY2014, according to their latest financial report. That’s about twice the amount they take from residents through Borough Ordinance 2008-28, that authorized them to ignore the 2008 voter approved initiative. SOLDOTNA ALREADY HAS ADEQUATE REVENUE!

■ Homer currently does not tax food in the winter, BUT has passed an ordinance to tax some food items beginning in January… UNLESS Proposition One passes.

■ The tax that we seek to repeal is NOT for education and NOT for general borough use.

■ Our Borough has operated without additional tax increases since 2008, when our Boroughwide grocery tax exemption was approved by the voters. Both borough and municipal sales tax revenues are currently at an all-time high.

■ This will put Borough merchants on a level playing field with the sales tax-free policy of our Anchorage neighbors by eliminating grocery tax for nine months of each year.

Proposition One will reduce the tax burden for all local, year-round residents:

■ Proposition One will help everyone, including local families and those on fixed incomes, including the elderly.

■ Food is a basic necessity of life. Proposition One reflects our values and will help us build a stronger community.

Why Now?

■ We have been forced to wait several years for this election because the Borough Clerk refused to certify our original referendum application. The Alaska Supreme Court forced the Borough to accept our referendum application after years of litigation in the state court system.

■ The Supreme Court decision granted YOU the right to decide. A YES vote will force the general law cities to follow the 2008 voter approved seasonal grocery tax exemption.

Please Vote YES on Proposition One, at the October 6th Borough Election.

— Submitted by James Price,
Alaskans for Grocery Tax Relief Now

More in Opinion

This image available under the Creative Commons license shows the outline of the state of Alaska filled with the pattern of the state flag.
Opinion: Old models of development are not sustainable for Alaska

Sustainability means investing in keeping Alaska as healthy as possible.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy unveils proposals to offer public school teachers annual retention bonuses and enact policies restricting discussion of sex and gender in education during a news conference in Anchorage. (Screenshot)
Opinion: As a father and a grandfather, I believe the governor’s proposed laws are anti-family

Now, the discrimination sword is pointing to our gay and transgender friends and families.

Kenai Peninsula Education Association President Nathan Erfurth works in his office on Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Voices of the Peninsula: Now is the time to invest in Kenai Peninsula students

Parents, educators and community members addressed the potential budget cuts with a clear message.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy holds a press conference at the Capitol on Tuesday, April 9, 2019. (Juneau Empire file photo)
Opinion: An accurate portrayal of parental rights isn’t controversial

Affirming and defining parental rights is a matter of respect for the relationship between parent and child

Opinion: When the state values bigotry over the lives of queer kids

It has been a long, difficult week for queer and trans Alaskans like me.

Dr. Sarah Spencer. (Photo by Maureen Todd and courtesy of Dr. Sarah Spencer)
Voices of the Peninsula: Let’s bring opioid addiction treatment to the Alaskans who need it most

This incredibly effective and safe medication has the potential to dramatically increase access to treatment

Unsplash / Louis Velazquez
Opinion: Fish, family and freedom… from Big Oil

“Ultimate investment in the status quo” is not what I voted for.

An orphaned moose calf reared by the author is seen in 1970. (Stephen F. Stringham/courtesy photo)
Voices of the Peninsula: Maximizing moose productivity on the Kenai Peninsula

Maximum isn’t necessarily optimum, as cattle ranchers learned long ago.

(Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: The time has come to stop Eastman’s willful and wanton damage

God in the Bible makes it clear that we are to care for the vulnerable among us.

Caribou graze on the greening tundra of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in northeast Alaska in June, 2001. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: AIDEA’s $20 million-and-growing investment looks like a bad bet

Not producing in ANWR could probably generate a lot of money for Alaska.

A fisher holds a reel on the Kenai River near Soldotna on June 30, 2021. (Photo by Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Voices of the Peninsula: King salmon closures long overdue

Returns have progressively gone downhill since the early run was closed in June 2012

(Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: Fixing legislative salaries and per diem

The state Senate was right to unanimously reject giving a 20% pay… Continue reading