National sales tax wrong for Alaska

Mead Treadwell recently endorsed the national sales tax at a debate. This national tax would have a major negative impact on Alaska, and Treadwell’s support for it raises serious questions about his judgment.

Treadwell’s national sales tax would be a 30 percent tax on top of the existing sales price of goods and services.  The national sales tax would apply to just about everything: food, gasoline, medical care, travel, energy costs, even interest payments on credit cards. It is hard to even imagine how much that would add in expenses for the average household.

Groceries already are too expensive in rural Alaska.  Treadwell’s national sales tax would add 30 percent on top of prices that already are too high. You could pay $3 in taxes just for a gallon of milk in some rural communities.

The national sales tax would make it significantly more expensive to get to work and to travel to hub communities. Add 30 percent to the cost of gasoline and Alaskans living in rural areas will pay approximately $2-$3 more per gallon, because the national sales tax would come on top of existing gas taxes. The national sales tax would affect airline tickets too, adding hundreds of dollars to most tickets within Alaska.

The tax also would raise the price of four wheelers, boats, and snowmachines. If you’re buying an $11,000 snowmachine it would cost $3,300 more in taxes, and you’d have to pay a 30 percent tax on the price of shipping the snowmachine from Anchorage.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Elections are all about choices. I know I’m not voting for anyone who would support a national sales tax. Let’s make sure Mead Treadwell’s national sales tax never becomes a reality.

Mike Wenstrup

Chair, Alaska Democratic Party