Many years ago, when the tax cap of $500 on any sale in the Kenai Peninsula borough was eliminated on tourism packages, the borough experienced a huge increase in tax revenues. At the time, I was under the obviously false impression that the increased revenues would cover the budget of the Kenai Peninsula Tourism Marketing Council, and then some. Apparently, those additional revenues have somehow been absorbed into our bloated government. There was much debate about bed tax vs. sales tax, the legal arguments, the numerous public meetings arguing pros and cons of the issue before an assembly that had already made up its mind.
The letter writer of “Resident opposed to bed tax,” July 21 on the Opinion Page, has done his research and makes some very valid points. His message should be paid very close attention to.
What will a 4 percent bed tax lead to next? Certainly someone is considering a tourism fuel tax, which would affect all of us. We should put parking meters everywhere just in the summer months, and of course hire a dozen or more police officers to deal with the increased crime due to parking meter expirations. Think of all that revenue we are missing out on! We should have I.D. checks on all retail purchases, everything, and if you can’t show a Alaska I.D., there would be a tourism tax of, say, 4 percent. I am sure this is the tip of the iceberg. So many of you must have more ideas to share with our assembly. The list really could be endless. I encourage everyone to address this assembly. Just think, if we get creative enough in ripping off the tourist, maybe the assembly will lower our property taxes.
On the other hand, perhaps tourists will by-pass the KPB.