Sadly, I fear the ballot proposition to impose a 5 percent sales tax on alcoholic beverages in Anchorage is getting mixed, shaken and stirred in the cocktail of anti-tax politics.
Conservatives preach this is the wrong tax at the wrong time on the wrong people. They frame it as another attempt by Mayor Ethan Berkowitz — yes, a Democrat — to overly tax the good, law-abiding people of Anchorage. They argue that our property taxes already are high enough, as if that has anything to do with an alcohol tax.
The no-tax rhetoric reminds me of a 2005 presentation in Anchorage, when Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform (he still is president of the anti-tax group), said any Republican who votes for a tax is a “rat’s head in a Coke bottle.” He explained a Republican who violates the no-tax pledge would drive away voters, much like a rat in a bottle of Coke would drive away customers. No, I’m not making this up.
I ask that you support the ballot measure for all it can do to help our community and its residents. This isn’t about tax politics, rats or Coke bottles.
— Larry Persily
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