April 21, 2015: Bagley's Grocery Tax Ordinance FAILS!
The Borough Assembly voted DOWN Bagley's Grocery Tax Ordinance with a 5-4 vote! We want to THANK YOU for your support in urging the Assembly to vote this down. The majority of the Assembly members listened to YOU!
Assembly Members who voted NO to the grocery tax increase. Thank you for listening to the voters!:
Kelly Cooper (Homer)
Wayne Ogle (Nikiski)
Stan Wells (Sterling/Funny River)
Mako Haggerty (South Peninsula)
Kelly Wolf (K-Beach/Kenai)
Assembly members who voted yes for the grocery tax increase:
Blaine Gilman (Kenai)
Dale Bagley (Soldotna)
Brent Johnson (Central Peninsula)
Sue McClure (Seward)
Take Action Now:
Send an Email to the Assembly!
SEE BELOW for details on sending an email.
UPDATE: To Be Continued on April 21st! On April 7th, the Assembly UNFORTUNATELY PASSED Bagley's Grocery Tax with a 5-4 vote. HOWEVER, it was motioned to be reconsidered. Will the Assembly vote on April 21st to pass it AGAIN, or uphold the will of the voters and vote it DOWN?
Assemblyman Dale Bagley is trying to establish 3 MONTHS OF ADDITIONAL GROCERY TAX to have a total of 6 MONTHS OF GROCERY TAX! For those 3 months, they would raise your winter grocery tax by 3% and, including the cities portion, as much as 7.5%*. With a vote of only 5 Assembly members, they could approve this grocery tax. Tell the borough assembly NO TO ANY GROCERY TAX INCREASE!
What is going on with our Borough Assembly??
- Voters have spoken MULTIPLE times with an overwhelming NO! to Winter Grocery Tax, YET the borough assembly CONTINUES AGGRESSIVELY to try to tax your groceries. This is their second attempt this year, in just 3 months!
- If this ordinance passes with a vote of just 5 Borough Assembly members, then thousands of signatures by local citizens and thousands of votes in support of the Grocery Tax Exemption (2008 ballot initiative and 2011 ballot proposition) will be nullified. This ordinance would further seriously DISENFRANCHISE the voters and IGNORE the will of the people!
- This HIGHLY REGRESSIVE tax hurts those the most who can afford it the least. Grocery tax creates an unnecessary HARDSHIP on the majority of people in our community. Even harder hit are families and people on low or fixed incomes, including the elderly. And local food pantries have reported that there is an increase in local demand from people who need help with basic food. It is WRONG and UNHEALTHY for the assembly to increase our grocery taxes.
- On March 2, our Borough School Board, voted 6-3 to NOT support Gilman's Grocery Tax Ordinance. The tax revenue from these proposed ordinances would go to fund education. However, even the School Board listened to the will of the voters and said NO. Why is our Borough Assembly NOT listening to the voters?
- After receiving YOUR emails and input, the Assembly voted NO on Gilman's Grocery Tax Ordinance. HOWEVER, now, Assemblyman Dale Bagley introduced YET ANOTHER ordinance to try to INCREASE YOUR WINTER GROCERY TAX! His ordinance would establish THREE MONTHS OF WINTER GROCERY TAX. We currently have NO borough winter grocery tax. The assembly continues to try to REPEAL YOUR voter approved 2008 Grocery Tax Exemption and OBSOLETE the voters' 2011 vote that kept the Grocery Tax Exemption.
Have Your Voice Heard!
1. Send an Email to the Borough Assembly Members (please see below)
2. Call Your Assembly Member and urge them to vote NO to Ordinance 2015-03 Substitute (ie. Bagley's Grocery Tax Ordinance). Click here for the assembly's phone numbers.
3. Attend the Tuesday, April 21st Borough Assembly Meeting in SEWARD at Seward City Hall - Council Chambers. If you would like to voice your opinion, you will need to send an email to the assembly members because Assemblyman Bagley has DENIED public testimony for this ordinance at the meeting.
SEND AN EMAIL NOW:
COPY & PASTE THE FOLLOWING EMAIL, and send to the assembly members:
Please send the following email (or customize your own) to all of the following assembly members. Copy and paste the following email addresses into the "To:" section of your email. Then copy and paste the email below into the body of your email.:
EMAIL ADDRESSES TO SEND TO (Copy and Paste into your Email):
Assemblyman Kelly Wolf <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Assemblyman Blaine Gilman <email@example.com>, Assemblyman Wayne Ogle <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Assemblyman Dale Bagley <email@example.com>, Assemblyman Stan Welles <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Assemblywoman Sue McClure <email@example.com>, Assemblyman Brent Johnson <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Assemblywoman Kelly Cooper <email@example.com>, Assemblyman Mako Haggerty <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Mayor Mike Navarre <email@example.com>, Borough Clerk Johni Blankenship <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Alaskans For Grocery Tax Relief Now <email@example.com>
PLEASE NOTE: There have been some problems with the borough's email system. We have included our email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) in the email list above. If any of the assembly members emails bounce/are undeliverable, we'll make sure the assembly gets a copy of your email. Your voice WILL be heard. Thank you!
EMAIL TO SEND, or customize your own (Copy and Paste into your Email):
Subject: Ordinance 2015-03 Substitute: Vote NO To ANY Grocery Tax Increase!
Dear Assembly Member,
Assemblyman Dale Bagley's Proposed Ordinance 2015-03 Substitute would reduce our current Winter Grocery Tax Exemption from 9 months to 6 months. His ordinance substitute would establish 3 MONTHS of WINTER GROCERY TAX. Currently, there is NO winter grocery tax, and we, the voters, want to keep it that way. The voters have spoken in their 2008 and 2011 votes. They have said NO more grocery taxation. Bagley's ordinance would blatantly DISENFRANCHISE the voters. Bagley's ordinance substitute SHOULD NOT EVEN BE CONSIDERED.
We want you to know that taking food off of our tables to pay for this is the WRONG thing to do. This HIGHLY REGRESSIVE tax hurts those the most who can afford it the least. Grocery tax creates an unnecessary HARDSHIP on the majority of people in our community. Even harder hit are families and people on low or fixed incomes, including the elderly. And local food pantries have reported that there is an increase in local demand from people who need help with basic food. It is WRONG and UNHEALTHY for the assembly to increase our grocery taxes.
If this ordinance passes with a vote of just 5 Borough Assembly members, then thousands of signatures by local citizens and thousands of votes in support of the Grocery Tax Exemption (2008 ballot initiative and 2011 ballot proposition) will be nullified. This ordinance would seriously DISENFRANCHISE the voters and the DISREGARD the will of the people:
- The citizens of the Kenai Peninsula Borough voted in October of 2008 by a large majority to support the Grocery Tax Exemption provided by a 2008 citizens’ initiative. When it passed with a 60% approval of the voters, we should have had NO winter grocery tax including removal of both the borough tax and the general law cities taxes. Only the borough's 3% winter grocery tax was removed. Because...
- Just three weeks before the 2008 election, the Borough Assembly passed Ordinance 2008-28 which authorized the general law cities within the Borough to continue to levy and collect the sales tax anyway, without regard for the will of the people. The voters were denied their full 2008 initiative, through this inappropriate and mean-spirited borough ordinance.
- In 2011, the Borough Assembly asked voters to repeal their voter approved 2008 citizens’ initiative! The voters said NO with an overwhelming 69%+ Vote.
- In an effort to uphold the will of the voters, a citizens referendum was filed in 2010 to repeal the borough's Ordinance 2008-28. The borough clerk denied the citizens' referendum. The Borough was fought through the court system and after four years of litigation, the Alaska Supreme Court declared that the citizens have the legal right to repeal the Borough ordinance. Just last fall of 2014, 1,875 signatures were gathered, which placed the citizens' referendum on the upcoming 2015 October Borough ballot as Proposition One.
- Now, on the heels of Assemblyman Blaine Gilman's proposed Grocery Tax Ordinance that was recently voted down, Assemblyman Dale Bagley has introduced an ordinance to ONCE AGAIN try to repeal our voter approved 2008 Grocery Tax Exemption. He wants to REDUCE our 9 month grocery tax exemption to 6 months, thereby increasing our taxes by 3 MONTHS! WHY is the borough assembly NOT LISTENING TO THE VOTERS?
We, the voters, have spoken multiple times to say that we do NOT want our groceries taxed. I am asking that you respect our votes and the will of the people. Please vote NO on Ordinance 2015-03 Substitute.
(Your First and Last Name, and City)
Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly Members:
Not sure who your assembly member is? Click on a map below to help verify the district that you live in.
District 1 - Kalifornsky (with sections of Kenai and Soldotna): Mr. Kelly Wolf, email: email@example.com map of district: click here
District 2 - Kenai: Mr. Blaine Gilman, email: firstname.lastname@example.org map of district: click here
District 3 - Nikiski: Mr. Wayne Ogle, email: email@example.com map of district: click here
District 4 - Soldotna: Mr. Dale Bagley, email: firstname.lastname@example.org map of district: click here
District 5 - Sterling/Funny River (with sections of Soldotna): Mr. Stan Welles, email: email@example.com map of district: click here
District 6 - Seward/East Peninsula (includes Cooper Landing, Moose Pass, Hope): Ms. Sue McClure, email: firstname.lastname@example.org map of district: click here
District 7 - Central (sections of Soldotna, Kasilof, Clam Gulch, Ninilchik, north Anchor Point): Mr. Brent Johnson, email: email@example.com map of district:click here
District 8 - Homer (city limits): Ms. Kelly Cooper, email: firstname.lastname@example.org map of district: click here
District 9 - South Peninsula (Homer-except city limits, Anchor Point, Seldovia): Mr. Mako Haggerty, email: email@example.com map of district: click here
Want more information about your assembly member? Click here for the borough's website, "Meet the Assembly."
*If Assemblyman Dale Bagley's Grocery Tax Ordinance 2015-03 Substitute passes, it would reinstate the borough's 3% winter grocery tax throughout the borough and would continue to allow the general law cities to tax winter groceries. The winter grocery tax rate would increase from 3% to 6% in Soldotna and Kenai, 4% to 7% in Seward and Seldovia, 0% to 7.5% in Homer, and 0% to 3% outside of the incorporated cities.