Voters in Ketchikan may be asked this fall whether to extend a 5% sales tax on marijuana products. That’s after Ketchikan’s Borough Assembly unanimously voted to introduce an ordinance to extend the tax. It’s currently set to expire at the end of 2022.
That may seem a long way off, but Borough Attorney Glenn Brown told the assembly Monday that it was better to address the tax sooner rather than later.
“Staff, in discussing the issue, thought it was wise to bring it to the assembly for potential extension sooner than 2022 so that in the event the assembly or the voters declined, it would give the borough some time to find alternate revenue to fill the void. That simple.”
The tax has generated approximately $132,000 since it was first enacted at the end of 2017. The assembly would need to approve the extension in second reading on April 19 before it could be placed on the October ballot.
The assembly also discussed the ongoing $1 million deficit in an account that provides local funding for schools but didn’t hammer out any solutions. Borough Finance Director Cynna Gubatayao said the assembly would be better off waiting until its next meeting later this month to talk specifics. A joint committee with school board and assembly members is set to brainstorm ideas to fix the shortfall on April 12.