The Sitka Assembly meeting continues tonight (7-11-18) in Harrigan Centennial Hall, with a pair of proposals to raise revenues by modifying the local tax structure. A stream of our Facebook Live feed is available below.

Learn more about those ordinances here.

6:30 p.m. The ordinance to remove the sales tax on groceries and utilities failed, 2-4, with Mayor Matthew Hunter and Kevin Knox voting in favor. The ordinance to raise property taxes by 2 mils, pending voter approval, was postponed unanimously.

7:15 p.m. An ordinance to exempt bed taxes from sales tax passed, by a 3-3 vote. Wein, Bean, and Eisenbesiz voted against. It takes four votes to kill an ordinance on first reading. The measure takes effect only if voters a ballot question to raise bed taxes in October, which is the next and final ordinance up for debate tonight.

8:05 p.m. The Assembly approved an amended ordinance  (Motion and Ord 2018-34 to raise bed taxes to 12%. The vote was 3-3, with Hunter, Knox, and Miyasato voting in favor. If it passes on first and second reading, a question will appear on the ballot in October asking:

Shall the Sitka General Code be amended to increase the tax on transient lodging rent, previously known as the “bed tax,” from 6 percent to 12 percent?

Should voters approve, the bed taxes would be exempted from paying a sales tax. Together, these proposals would raise bed taxes 2-3% overall. Assembly member Bob Potrzuski was absent from the meeting.

Beginning of the meeting: 6 p.m. – 6:17 p.m. Broadcast ended due to technical difficulties.