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Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

An Open Letter to the Borough and City Councils of Ketchikan

By Teri J. Wilson


April 27, 2015
Monday PM

Once more I am fired up at the mention of another cigarette tax. Frankly, you people are not responsible enough to collect MORE MONEY from an already beleaguered populace where jobs are scare and money is tight. You have, in recent years, spent tens and even hundreds of thousands of dollars on things like a rain gauge ($90 thousand), this stupid tsunami warning system (signs everywhere, indecipherable vocal warnings, an annoying horn that’s not even on time) for HOW MUCH?, tourist signage to the tune of $400 thousand, the money that was given to Ketchikan for start-up projects that all went to one group (that was over a million, and they spent that money at the Narrows Inn to the tune of $5 thousand a month, the water treatment plant (the water sucks, ammonia is never to be ingested, it stinks and tastes awful, and I see no improvement), need I go on, or do you get the picture?

What have you done for us, the people who live here year around?!? Have you collected all the sales tax from those jewelry stores who pop up every year?

I want you all to cite one crime caused by cigarettes! There are no fights, stabbings, robberies, or domestic violence due to cigarettes or cigarette smoking, but for weeks now I’ve read all the horrors caused by alcohol. Our police force is inundated with criminals of the system who use drugs and alcohol, they are doing a great job nailing those people selling drugs. The jail is and has been FULL! Yet, Ketchikan can only recently boast a 12-bed treatment facility. We need one for 150. AND you need to tax alcohol! I know that most of you drink, and although you don’t cause problems for the police, you can afford to pay higher taxes on your booze. Maybe THEN we can afford the things Ketchikan really needs, more industry, more focus on Ketchikan people and less on the tourists!

If you have the power to tax cigarettes, then you have the power to tax alcohol (they are both covered by ATF, ALCOHOL, Tobacco and Firearms). Must be important if alcohol is listed FIRST!

Many businesses have CHOSEN to eliminate smoking, as is their right. It is also MY right NOT to support those businesses!

Now that pot is “legal,” how do you plan on administrating it. How much tax will be charged on that? It has more carcinogens than cigarettes! Do you have tests for driver’s who are under the influence of pot? Frankly, if someone’s been smoking pot, I don’t want them to drive!

I am sick and tired of being part of a group that you are trying to tax out of existence! I am a smoker and have been for years, I have three perfectly healthy children who were of higher than average birth weight! I am fed up with taxes and being a target for misinformation! If you want to tax something, tax alcohol, the one legal drug that is accessible to children (how many have we lost over the years in alcohol-related crashes?). Then there would be money for a larger treatment center, more things to do in Ketchikan, assistance for those who need it (house painting, yardwork, etc.), a more diverse economic base with year ‘round employment; those are things WE NEED.

If you get tired of reading my letters, understand that if this issue is brought up again, I will show up at your meetings and I am loaded for bear!


Teri J. Wilson
Ketchikan, Alaska


Received April 26, 2015 - Published April 27, 2015



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