Sales tax issue may be back on the ballot

The topic of a Mat Su Borough-wide sales tax heated up again on Tuesday evening.

The Borough Assembly approved the question of a 3% sales tax be placed on the October ballot.  If the sales tax were approved by voters, residents would see $24.1 million in property tax reductions.  The areawide mill levy would be lowered from 9.98 to 7.3.  Assembly member Cindy Bettine was the sponsor of the sales tax ordinance and says the intent is to reduce property taxes. 

However, Wednesday morning, Borough mayor Talis Colberg vetoed the sales tax ordinances. 

A super majority or 5 votes can overturn Colberg’s veto.  The Assembly originally voted 5 to 2 in support of the sales tax ordinance being placed on the ballot.  Assembly members Tom Kluberton and Mark Ewing voted against the measure.

In a recent phone survey by Ivan Moore Research, 62 percent of the residents supported a sales tax to offset property taxes.  77% surveyed said they would not change where they shop if the sales tax were enacted and 51% said they preferred the higher 3% sales tax over a 2% sales tax if it provided more property tax relief. 603 Mat Su residents took part in the poll.

The Assembly meets next Tuesday with the sales tax veto on the agenda. If the Assembly overturns the veto, the issue will be placed on the ballot in October for all voters to decide.  

The proposed 3% Borough sales tax is an effort to relieve property owners of some of the tax burden for local services such as education, emergency services and roads. 

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