Voters will now determine whether or not Sitka adopts a brand new hashish tax. On Tuesday (6-29-22), the Sitka Meeting voted to place a shopper’s gross sales tax on marijuana on the municipal election poll this fall.
The brand new poll proposition would remove the usual metropolis gross sales tax on hashish and change it with one that may steadily enhance to eight %. The proceeds would profit the Sitka Faculty District’s “Pupil Actions Fund,” which pays for journey, provides and different bills.
Meeting member Thor Christianson mentioned he supported placing it on the poll however he didn’t know if he’d vote in favor or in opposition to on the polls.
“Its basically ultimately gonna be a few 2 ½ % hike in taxes, as a result of most of that is gonna be a switch from the cash that we have been already taking for regular gross sales tax,” Christianson mentioned. “Truthfully if I’m going to vote in opposition to it as a citizen, that may be why, simply due to the outlet its going to place within the basic fund. However I’ve no drawback placing it on the poll to let the individuals of Sitka determine.”
It’s not the primary time the meeting has thought of placing a marijuana tax out to the voters. In 2021, a poll prop that may have levied an extra 5 % tax on hashish failed on a cut up vote. Meeting member Kevin Mosher was a no vote final 12 months. This time, he voted in favor.
“We talked about it fairly a bit. The very first go round we made some changes, some compromises, and I really feel like that is truthful,” Mosher mentioned, and added that he supported placing the prop out to the voters for a choice.
So what precisely are these compromises? The poll prop the meeting settled on is completely different from the ordinance introduced forth by sponsors Rebecca Himschoot and Kevin Knox in Could. Initially they’d proposed a tax that may have steadily elevated to 10 %, however that was lowered to eight, they usually additionally added language to substantiate that the income collected from the tax can be separate from the town’s annual contribution to the Sitka Faculty District.
Meeting member Kevin Knox, involved that there’s nonetheless some confusion in regards to the poll prop on the market, and needed to reiterate that the tax will not be along with gross sales tax, it replaces it, and it’s levied on customers, not companies.
“Its not technically earnings that the enterprise is shedding or good points after which loses…its a shopper tax similar to our gross sales tax,” Knox mentioned. “Completely in favor of seeing this on the October poll, myself, and if it passes tonight, wanting ahead to persevering with the dialogue with the neighborhood and seeing the way it fares.”
Nobody from the general public commented on the ultimate vote, however at earlier conferences the poll prop has been supported by a handful of educators and oldsters who say the tax is important with a purpose to assist fund pupil actions, which have grow to be more and more dearer, particularly with much less accessible ferry service for pupil journey.
The measure was additionally challenged at earlier conferences by just a few hashish enterprise house owners, who’re involved that the brand new tax will make authorized hashish much less aggressive in opposition to Sitka’s present unlawful market.
On the first studying in early June, the ordinance handed 5-2 with member Crystal Duncan and Mayor Steven Eisenbeisz opposed. It handed 5-0 of their absence on closing studying. It’s going to seem on the poll within the October 4 municipal election.
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Sitka Faculty Board endorses plan to tax hashish to assist pupil actions