Anchorage Considers 5% Alcohol Tax

Proposition 13 Takes Alcohol Tax Question to the April Ballot

On April 7, 2020, Anchorage voters will be asked whether they will allow the Anchorage Assembly to levy a five (5) percent tax on retail sales of alcohol. As reported by the Anchorage Daily News, the revenue from the tax would go to public safety and health purposes. According to the text of Proposition 13 the revenue from the tax can only be used for:

  • “Funding for police, related criminal justice personnel and first responders;
  • Funding to combat and address child abuse, sexual assault and domestic violence; and
  • Funding for substance misuse treatment, prevention programs, detoxification or long-term addiction recover facilities, mental and behavioral health programs, and resources to prevent and address Anchorage’s homelessness crisis.”

If successful on the April 2020 ballot, the alcohol tax would go into effect on February 1, 2021.

Many people believe that an increase in alcohol tax can help address America’s ongoing alcohol crisis. A higher alcohol tax may lead to less excessive drinking and less alcohol consumption overall. The additional benefit that the revenue from the tax would go directly to funding for substance misuse treatment is icing on the cake.

More and more municipalities across the nation are taking steps to address issues like addiction, homelessness and mental health disorders. Many times, these problems coincide with one another. Co-disorders are not unusual and may need to be treated alongside one another.

It is unclear whether Proposition 13 will garner enough support to pass, a similar bill the previous year failed. Proponents of the tax believe that this year’s proposition addresses the concerns from its predecessor.

Read the full story from the Anchorage Daily News “A different, better alcohol tax will be on the ballot in April.”