Kenai Peninsula Borough voters will decide Oct. 1 whether they want to continue paying the 2-percent sales tax on nonprepared food items purchased at local grocery stores.
Nikiski resident James Price, a Republican Moderate candidate for House District 34, headed a signature drive this summer and acquired over 2,600 names on petitions in support of the ballot measure.
To make the ballot, 1,935 of those signatures had to be certified by the Kenai Peninsula Borough Clerk's office. That occurred Thursday.
Price, whose organization is called Peninsula Citizens Against the Grocer Tax, said he was very happy with the public response.
"The people will have the opportunity to assess the facts and decide," he said. "I will continue promoting the issue and trying to get people to vote against the tax."
Approval by the voters would create a new exemption on nonprepared food items. Those items would include foods purchased with coupons issued under the federal food stamp program. Food stamp users already are exempted from sales tax on food items purchased with food stamps.
Borough officials have predicted the loss of around $2 million in sales tax revenues. The cities could lose large portions of their revenue streams, too, according to officials with the cities.
"I don't think there will be the negative impacts some have said there would be," Price said. Once voters are aware of the facts, they will vote against the tax, he said.
Last year, Price headed Peninsula Citizens Against Private Prisons, which was instrumental in getting the question of the private prison on the ballot where it was soundly defeated.
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