An official effort is currently underway to repeal the three-percent sales tax within the Talkeetna Sewer and Water District.
Nineteen local residents have signed a petition for a referendum on the tax, which was passed last October. The purpose of the tax is to provide revenue for Talkeetna’s sewer and water utility, which has struggled to break even on user fees alone.
The tax has drawn criticism since before it was placed on last year’s borough ballot. The Talkeetna Community Council, Inc. board of directors, Talkeetna Chamber of Commerce, and Talketna Sewer and Water Advisory Board all approved of the idea of a sales tax, but not necessarily the way it was enacted. Proposals from those boards favored a seasonal tax at a rate lower than the three-percent that was ultimately put before voters.
Some locals have also voiced concerns that utilities, including electric bills, water bills, and fuel deliveries are subject to the tax, as are deliveries made within the boundaries of the district.
The next step for the referendum effort is for the Mat-Su Borough Clerk’s office to obtain a legal opinion on the filing. If the referendum effort clears all the necessary requirements, the sales tax could end up back on the ballot for voters who live in the sewer and water district.