Anchorage Mayor to propose alcohol tax
Soon, you may have to spend an extra dollar or two to buy booze in Anchorage.
Mayor Ethan Berkowitz plans to propose a new 5 percent retail sales tax on alcohol at the next Anchorage assembly meeting on November 20.
Assemblymembers Dick Traini, Eric Croft and Felix Rivera, are co-sponsoring the tax proposal. They need five other assemblymembers to get on board in order to put the proposal on the April ballot.
Traini estimates that the tax would generate between $13-$15 million every year. He says some of the money would be used to pay for things such as cleaning up homeless camps and substance abuse treatment.
Alcohol is already taxed at the state level, but Traini argues that since the Municipality of Anchorage decided to tax marijuana at 5 percent, alcohol should be too.
“The state is financially broke right now and I know the governor wants to send out back permanent fund dividends, where are you going to find the money from? The state is strapped right now and Anchorage needs to take care of itself,” Traini said.
Traini was behind several failed attempts to tax alcohol in Anchorage -- none of which have ever made it on the ballot.
He cites push-back from the hospitality industry. We reached out to industry representatives and craft brewers for comment but didn't hear back Tuesday night.
If the tax proposal goes on the April ballot, it simply needs a majority vote to be enacted.
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