I have been thinking about Homer’s financial situation and I think I have come up with some possible solutions rather than taxing food. Food is a necessity and I feel that the food tax is unfair to a large part of our community. Many people are struggling to make it from paycheck to paycheck and an additional 7 percent on top of the cost of food seems unfair.
I feel that the city should put a freeze on all spending. At one time there was some talk about a bed tax. I have done quite a bit of traveling and the bed tax on the hotel room is just part of traveling. In Seattle, the bed tax is at 15.6 percent. How about a toll booth at the head of the Spit?
Here are some other possible ways to raise revenue for the city of Homer — not the borough — through taxing nonessential items: bank business to include all bank fees, incomes and drafts; college tuition interest tax; child care income; sporting events; halibut derby; pet care; salmon harvest; cigarette sales tax; energy usage tax; pharmaceutical tax; hospital tax; alcohol; gravel sales tax; all freight moving through Homer tax; charter boat tax; oyster production tax; water taxi tax; fishing guide tax; duck/bear/other hunting guide tax; kayak guide tax; bicycle rental tax; local wine/art and sweater tax; airline/helicopter ticket tax; flower/bush tax; land sales tax; rental tax; bus/taxi/limo tax; outboard/side by side/snowmachine/recreational machine tax; city utility tax; state ferry tax (per rider/per vehicle); boat construction/purchase tax; four-wheeler guide tax; home improvement/home building tax; natural gas distribution tax— just to name a few. And by all means this is not all of them.
If you have a problem with these, travel to Washington State or anywhere else. It is time to quit trying to bring the food tax back. The people of Homer have spoken with their vote — twice. Many people travel to Anchorage to save the sales tax, but a part of our community cannot afford to make the drive.
Please take these ideas into consideration. This is not a full list but a good start and we need to look at all possibilities.