By Chris Story
Imagine if you will that you own a business – perhaps you already do.
Now, as you turn on your open sign and prepare to greet your clientele for the day, you see a sharp dressed man standing just outside the door. He is stopping every customer just prior to them coming in to do business with you.
After about an hour, your curiosity grows such that you exit the building and approach this guy.
What are you doing you say?
The gentleman looks at you and says he is collecting an admittance tax, “I’m with the Government. I’m here to improve your business by collecting a meager amount from your customers so we can help you attract more customers later; and support school funding, police protection, trail expansion and other services that your customers tell us they want.”
Then you rightly ask, “If you’re taking money out of their pocket before they come in my store, they will have less to spend with me.”
The tax collector then turns to you with righteous indignation and says, “So you don’t want police protection? Or schools, you don’t think we should fund the schools. Is that it? What kind of citizen are you?”
This is absurd. You and I can agree that this guy would be thrown to the curb in a hot second.
This above example is not different than the proposed Kenai Peninsula Borough Bed Tax. Mike Dye of the Homer Voice for Business group put it well.
“The KPB has a $300,000 problem with funding the KPTMC, and so they propose a $2.4 million dollar tax?”
And not to mention it is so patently obvious that to get the voters to approve this tax, they tie it to school funding, knowing full well that the great people of the KPB are 100 percent behind our youth. That is a disingenuous play if there ever was one.
It’s been said that most people won’t notice the tax; let me now quote Homer City Councilman Dave Lewis.
“Homer is an expensive place to live.”
That said, I’d remind you that it can be an expensive place to visit, in fact getting to Alaska is not cheap, and I propose we let the visitors spend more money with our shop keepers and service providers so as to better support the local economy, than create a tax that will leave our tills short come the quiet months of winter.
Can you prove that the tax will inhibit spending?
What I can tell you for certain is that if this tax is passed, there will be roughly $2,000,000 less in the hands of the private sector, and $2,000,000 more in the public sector.
Let’s put the Bed Tax to bed, for good. No new taxes.
Chris Story is a lifelong Alaskan, and broker and owner of Story Real Estate. He is also host of “Alaska Matters Radio,” heard Tuesdays from 12:30-1:30 p.m. on KPEN.
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