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Anchorage Are Looking at 5% Marijuana Sales Tax

Anchorage Assembly members are proposing an April ballot measure to create a 5 percent tax on future retail marijuana sales.

Ernie Hall, chair of the Assembly’s committee on marijuana regulation and taxation, said Friday the marijuana sales tax should cover the costs of enforcement and oversight when the state starts licensing marijuana businesses in May.

“We’ve got new expenses the city’s got to cover,” Hall said. “We’ve got to generate the revenue to be able to do it.”

Hall added there will be a “learning curve” in taxing a fledgling industry. The proposal allows the city to increase taxes without going back to voters, but only once every two years and by a maximum of 2 percent, he said.

The tax would apply to all retail sales of marijuana and marijuana products, according to the proposal, but the Assembly could also adopt ordinances to create exemptions.

Other Alaska cities have already adopted marijuana sales taxes. Fairbanks voters supported a 5 percent tax in October; in Bethel, a 15 percent tax passed overwhelmingly. [Read more at the Alaska Dispatch News]

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