It’s my turn to talk about Juneau’s senior sales tax exemptions. I am only 60 years old, so I don’t get any benefit from the senior tax exemption. I was surprised the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly has chosen to change the exemption for the more than $1 million its needs to balance the budget. Personally, it was a disservice to have the Chamber of Commerce President Craig Dahl favor the change through all the sales tax meetings. What a disservice for the Juneau Chamber of Commerce to take this position on what’s best for seniors. Then, to have Assembly members talk about the young families having a tough time of it here in Juneau, didn’t someone say it’s a community issue?
Plain and simple, The Juneau sales tax code is set up to favor the highest income earners. Example: I can afford a $12,000 car and pay the sales tax cap limit of $600. My rich neighbor on Blueberry Hill can afford to buy a $30,000 car and pays the same $600 sales tax cap. My other, richer neighbor can afford a $60,000 boat and pays the same $600 sales tax cap.
The two groups most affected by Juneau’s senior sales tax code as of Jan. 1 will be young families and now seniors. The current Assembly has only made the financial situation worse for Juneau. If the sales tax on large purchases was a credit and not a cap, then surely the $1 million-plus needed to balance the budget would have come on the residents least affected by the change. It’s time for the Assembly to change — vote out all the incumbents and recall the rest.