The North Pole City Council has taken the first step toward collecting online sales taxes.
The North Pole City Council has taken the first step toward collecting online sales taxes. The council voted unanimously Tuesday to advance an ordinance that would enable the city to collect its 5-and-a-half percent sales taxes on goods and services bought from non-local sellers.
Mayor Mike Welch says the tax would be fair because it would treat out-of-town businesses like the locals, which are collecting the sales tax.
“It levels the playing field for the people who have the traditional brick and mortar store, because they are taxed,” he said.
Welch estimates the city could collect up to $120,000 annually by collecting the online tax. He says the city needs that revenue to provide services, especially now because of state budget cuts and a recession that’s been deepened by the pandemic.
“It will help us,” he said, “because we’ve lost a lot, because of the covid. I’ve got businesses that were doing nearly 2-million dollars a year that have dropped to 800-thousand, 900-thousand a year. That’s just gross revenues, gross sales.”
City Clerk Aaron Rhoades says the council would welcome public comments about the proposal, which the council will consider adopting at its March 1st meeting.