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Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

New beverage container excise tax

By Deborah Hayden


September 04, 2017
Monday PM

At next Tuesday’s, September 5, Assembly meeting, the Assembly will consider an ordinance establishing a beverage container excise tax.  The ordinance dedicates revenue from this tax, up to $450,000, for funding nonprofits.

Any additional revenue above $450,000 from this tax, up to $750,000, will replenish the economic development fund.  Revenue above $750,000 will flow into the education fund.

The tax amount will be $.05 per each non-refillable beverage container less than 1 gallon and $1.00 per non-refillable gallon container of fountain syrup or concentrate.  

Milk, milk alternatives and fruit juices are exempt from this tax.

Refillable beverage containers 1 gallon or larger that do not contain fountain syrup or concentrate, such as gallons of water, will not be subject to the tax.

This tax does not target any single industry or segment of the population.  It will only affect those who choose to purchase soft drinks, alcohol, and other drinks that come in non-refillable containers.  Beer kegs are refillable and will not be subject to the tax, nor will the large refillable carboys of water that fit in water cooler machines.

The tax collection will occur at the distributor level when the containers arrive in the borough, not at the point of purchase.  It will not create a record-keeping burden on local retailers, grocery stores or shops that sell beverages.

I believe this tax is far superior to any proposal we have seen to date as a solution for nonprofit funding.  I urge everyone who enjoys the enhanced quality of life nonprofits contribute to the community to attend the borough Assembly meeting next Tuesday, or email Assembly members, and support this ordinance.

Deborah Hayden
Strengthening Nonprofits Collaborative
Ketchikan, Alaska

Writer's Comment:

While I am the facilitator of the Strengthening Nonprofits Collaborative, the Collaborative has not had a meeting since the formulation of this ordinance and has not had the opportunity to form a consensus about it.  This is my own opinion, not an expression of the Strengthening Nonprofits Collaborative.

Was the text of this letter edited by the SitNews Editor: No

Editor's Comment:

Click here to read the Introduction of an Ordinance Establishing an Excise Tax on Beverage ContainersSponsored by Assembly Members McQuerry and Wong

Click here to view/download the Sept. 05, 2017 Ketchikan Borough Assembly's Agenda & Detailed Information Packets


Received August 31, 2017 - Published September 04, 2017

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