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Alaska puts state sales tax back on table


 Alaska legislators have much to decide during the upcoming special session.

The state of Alaska allows localities to impose local sales and use taxes but is one of five states with no general state sales tax. It also has no income tax and provides residents with a generous annual dividend. These factors, along with declining oil prices, have created an untenable budget in The Last Frontier.

In his quest for “a more stable source of revenue,” Governor Bill Walker announced in December that he would seek to establish a small income tax. At the time, he rejected the idea of a statewide sales tax, expressing concern that a gallon of milk would cost twice as much in some places than in others due to combined state and local sales taxes. He reiterated that stance during his April End of Session Address to the People of Alaska.

Yet when the governor called the legislature into its fifth special session on June 19, he asked them to consider numerous tax changes, including:

  • Alcoholic beverages excise tax
  • Motor fuel tax
  • Personal income tax
  • Sales and use tax
  • Tobacco products taxes

The fifth special session will commence on July 11, 2016. Among lawmakers, there is some support for a state sales tax.

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Gail Cole
Avalara Author
Gail Cole
Gail Cole
Avalara Author Gail Cole
Gail began researching and writing about sales tax in 2012 and has been fascinated with it ever since. She has a penchant for uncovering unusual tax facts, and endeavors to make complex sales tax laws more digestible for both experts and laypeople.