Local News

Sales tax holiday set for Friday and Saturday

The Sitka assembly gave final approval Tuesday night for a sales tax holiday this Friday and Saturday, November 29 and 30 – the two days after Thanksgiving.

The assembly also passed on first reading a proposed ordinance that would require the city to make the decision about sales tax holidays earlier in the year.

“Our business community deserves more just a 3 day advance notice that they have the sales tax, as occurred this year,” said assembly member Mike Reif. “This will let them know well in advance, 30 days probably.”             

In the past, the assembly has waited to hear from the city finance department about whether revenue from sales taxes are on track to meet or beat the previous year’s numbers, before approving the sales tax holiday. The decision has been made in mid-November to give the office time to crunch the numbers on 3rd quarter sales tax collections.

But assembly member Phyllis Hackett said that may not be necessary going forward.

“I don’t believe that every year we’ve been in good solid position, and we’ve still approved it,” Hackett said. “So it makes me wonder how important it is to have those figures, because we always seem to go for it anyway.”

According to the finance department, the city this year is on track to beat its target for sales tax revenue even with the two-day sales tax holiday.

Hackett added that she hopes Sitkans will shop locally whether or not the tax holidays continue in the future.

“I just can’t stress enough how important it is for our citizens to support our local businesses,” Hackett said. “This is a double-edged sword to me. I’m happy to do it, and it’s wonderful to give this kind of gift to the   community. [But] the other side of the sword is it makes me feel like it’s becoming an entitlement again, that people feel like they’re going to shop here because they get this.”

“It’s  critically important, we’re an isolated community, we have to support ourselves.”

The ordinance will have to pass on a second reading before it becomes law.

Comments

Please read our comment guidelines.

Recent News

Mayor candidates share ideas, with few differences

Candidates Ben Miyasato (left), Matt Hunter (center), and Mary Magnuson (right) fielded questions from chamber members for 90 minutes. (KCAW photo/Robert Woolsey)
The three candidates for the mayor’s seat on the assembly met in a forum before the Sitka Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday (9-28-16). They all had much more in common, than differences. more

Marijuana fees could fund student travel

Sitka High freshman David Wilcox blazes across the finish line Saturday morning (9-28-13). Faced with its largest projected budget deficit in recent memory, the Sitka School Board may consider dramatic cuts to sports and activities programs in 2016. (KCAW photo/Robert Woolsey)
During their regular meeting last Tuesday night (09-27-16), the Assembly approved - on first reading - a dedicated fund for student activity travel using marijuana fees. They also set aside money for landslide mitigation and received a half a million dollar check from Sitka Community Hospital. more