SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


New sales tax ordinance imposes new fines 


March 16, 2011

(SitNews) Ketchikan, Alaska - This week businesses making retail sales, rendering any services, and making rentals in the Ketchikan area are receiving letters notifying them of a new ordinance which becomes effective on March 22, 2011. Adopted by the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly on March 7, 2011, Ordinance 1585 is making a number of changes to the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Code regarding sales tax filings.

Changes include the following:

  • The prior provisions allowed the Borough to publish information on delinquent accounts, including the names, business, amounts due, etc. The changes require publication on the Borough's web site of accounts which are 45 days or more delinquent, and allows publication by other means as well.
  • The current code requires a final return on the sale of a business. The changes clarify that a business which is closing without definite plans to resume business must file a final return and statement of business closure, and the business must re-register if they are to start up again in the future.
  • The changes clarify that businesses which have seasonal closures or otherwise have certain periods of no reportable sales still must file returns even if there are not sales.
  • The changes also add additional penalties for failure to file returns, including specific fine amounts.

The Finance Department announced in the letter, that the Borough will begin issuing citations for any violations listed in KGB Code 5.120.050 on March 22, 2011.

Didn't receive a letter? You may not be alone. According to one source, of the approximately 200 Bed and Breakfast Services conducting business locally, approximately 70 have completed the required sales tax registration form in order to conduct business in Ketchikan.

Who must complete a sales tax registration application? Any person, corporation or other association that is about to make sales, perform services or make rentals must first register with the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Finance Department.

Prior to making any retail sales, rendering any services, making rentals within the borough or the opening of an additional place of business in the borough, the person or business must file an application for registration with the finance department, on a form provided by the borough. The completed application must be returned to the finance department along with a copy of the business' Alaska State business license. Each business must be registered under the advertised name, and each separate business must be registered under its own account.

Businesses who are registered to collect taxes are listed by the finance department. If you are making sales, performing services or making rentals and your name is not on this list, to be in compliance with Borough Codes KGB 45.20.015, 45.20.016, and 45.20.055 you will need to complete a sales tax registration application and file sales tax returns. The application can be obtained from the Ketchikan Borough Finance Department. The application form is also available online (click here).

The new fines are set out in the Fine Schedule, which has been amended to include the following:


Code Section Offense Penalty/Fine
45.20.035(f) Failure to file sales tax return

1st Offense: $50

Susbsequent "conviction" for same return more than 90 days late: $250

45.20.040(e) Failure to keep books or comply with requirements for investigation $250 per offense



On the Web:

Sales Tax Application

Businesses registered to collect taxes




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Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska

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