A borough sales tax is being sold to property owners as a way to lower their tax burden. If you will buy that I’d like to sell you the tropical island I have listed on Wasilla Lake.
Here are four of the many reasons a sales tax is a rotten idea:
1. It’s a regressive tax: It taxes the poor more than the rich because the poor will pay a higher portion of their income on local purchases. It may omit people on food stamps, but anyone just above the food stamp level will be nailed hard.
2. It’s an anti-family tax. It will hurt families that have to spend more of their income locally to support their children.
3. It’s an anti-business tax. Business owners will be turned into unpaid tax collectors for the borough…or face huge fines.
4. It’s an anti-resident tax. The tax payers that benefit most are those that don’t live here. Local property owners will spend at least some of their tax savings on local purchases but non-local owners will get off scot free.
You have to ask yourself why the liberals on the Borough Assembly would support a regressive tax. It’s because the end justifies the means. They know that over the long haul they will collect more money in the borough coffers with a combination of a sales tax and a property tax.
In addition, they know that there will be less accountability for the borough. Property owners tend to voice their opinion about what is being done with their tax money more often than do grocery shoppers. I watched as the assembly agonized this year trying to find ways to save on the budget so that that they didn’t have to raise property taxes. They knew that if tax rates went up while property values did not there would be an outcry. They know there will be less of an outcry with a sales tax.