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Taxes on tourism already in place

Posted: May 19, 2014 - 5:30pm  |  Updated: May 20, 2014 - 8:30am

Who opened up this can of worms again? We already have a bed tax here in the Kenai Peninsula Borough. It is called the “Moock Tax” and was adopted years ago by the borough assembly. Sharon Moock, an assembly member at the time, successfully pushed for this tax and here is how it works. Ordinarily, sales tax is capped in the borough at 3 percent for the borough, plus whatever the city charges if the purchase is made in a city or town that collects sales taxes. So, when you purchase something over $500.00 (the maximum amount capped), your borough sales tax will not exceed $15.00. Buy a $30,000 vehicle in Soldotna and you will pay $15 to the borough and $15 to the city of Soldotna; 3 percent for each entity.

Enter tourism and the Moock Tax. It was decided to tax at the full rate, no cap, on any tourism sales. So, when a group of tourists purchase a package at $30,000, their tax ramifications are 6 percent of the full amount if they stay at a Soldotna lodging, or $1800.00. Not only are the beds in this purchase taxed at the full rate, per bed per night, but the boat seats these people fill are also taxed per seat per day. There is no cap. Remember that these tourists rent cars, fill restaurants and grocery stores, taverns, gift shops and more. Their sales tax dollars help fuel our economy.

So, when someone brings up a bed tax I can only believe they are ignorant of the current tax structure or they are a mean-spirited bully who despises tourists. Either way, this stinky can of worms ought to be buried once and for all. We already have a bed tax.

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herbtr 08/01/14 - 05:22 pm
missing point

Unfortunately, the Assembly members and Mayor Navarre who support the "bed tax" NEVER met a tax they did not like or a dollar they could not spend.

Suss 08/02/14 - 11:21 pm
Compare Tax Rates

A $30,000.00 dollar tourist package should not be taxed at $15.00 dollars or $30.00 dollars, as it was in the past.

Assume 10 clients in the package @ $3,000 each.
Taxed at $180.00 each. Not so terrible now is it?

Now make it $300.00 each, still a deal. Think pounds of fish and divide, it still must be worth the money.

Paying $30K to play on the Kenai must be worth it. So the tax is just as worthy as well.

The lodges and the guides brought this prior tax structure change on themselves.

Blame anyone you want, but how the former tax dodge seemed extremely unfair is why the tax change happened.

Compare the state tax rates anywhere else. City taxes are added to the state rate where applicable.

The Kenai is a deal and the visitors know it.

They keep coming back.

Be thankful there is no VAT rate like in the E.U.

Borough property tax rates are very low compared to most other places, so let's keep them low.

Sales tax do help. It is not wrong to earn from tourists, taxing them is fair game.

Premium quality tourist fishing trips can and should return a small premium (6-10%) to the Borough/Cities.

This does not seem to be mean spirited, this is business.

Why shouldn't those that can afford a $30,000.00 package not pay a reasonable 10% tax?

They too can also can buy a vehicle when visiting and save such a great amount of money, right?

A 4% increase is in the real of reasonableness. Makes a nice 10% tax work for an easy math calculation. Pretty straightforward and not difficult to understand.u

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