With the Anchorage Assembly set to vote on three tax proposals, Tuesday is the last chance for the public to influence what will end up on the ballot in the April election.
All aim to raise revenue to help combat homelessness and substance abuse, but they would do so in different ways.
The Assembly can’t approve a tax, but it can place one on the ballot. Since all three tax proposals amend the charter to allow a simple majority of voters to pass it, at least eight of the 11-member body must vote in favor of a tax.
Tuesday night is the last chance for the Assembly to approve the tax proposals for the April ballot.
The Assembly held a public hearing for two alcohol tax proposals and a sales tax proposal at its Jan. 14 meeting. During that meeting, Assembly members agreed they weren’t ready to take action. They have since held a work session, during which they continued to discuss changes to the three proposals.
A public hearing on the three tax proposals will continue Tuesday, and then Assembly members will have an opportunity to amend the proposals. Then they will vote.
Those interested in commenting will be able to do so. People who commented at the Jan. 14 meeting can still weigh in, though their testimony is limited to the amendments the Assembly made to the proposals since they spoke.
It’s not guaranteed that a tax will make it to the April ballot. Several members during the Jan. 14 meeting said they needed more time to consider the proposals before voting. Assemblywoman Meg Zaletel, who is a sponsor of one alcohol tax, argued in an opinion column in the Anchorage Daily News Friday that more time is needed to consider a tax, signaling that she will vote against all three.
The meeting will start at 5 p.m. Tuesday at the Loussac Library, 3600 Denali St.
Clarification: A previous version of this story said eight Assembly votes are needed to send a tax proposal to the ballot. That is only the case if the proposal amends the charter, as is the case the three tax proposals under consideration Tuesday.