AEDC supports amended alcohol tax to fund critical services

Prop 13 will tackle public health and safety issues

The Anchorage Economic Development Corp. Board of Directors voted to support Proposition 13, a ballot initiative introducing a 5% retail sales tax on alcohol within the Municipality of Anchorage.

The ballot proposal is included in the April 2020 city ballot, mailed to registered voters on March 17.

“Our Board of Directors recognizes that issues of community safety and wellness are central to making Anchorage the best place to Live. Work. and Play.,” said Lynn Rust Henderson, AEDC board chair and Vice President of the Alaska Group Market for Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska. “While there is more work to be done, Proposition 13 is an immediate step toward addressing the problems that restrict our future.”

Last year, the AEDC Board of Directors backed a similar measure, which narrowly failed.  The amended ordinance resolves the issues raised by voters, business leaders, and policymakers in 2019, which focused on transparency.  Per the ballot language, this retail sales tax on alcohol will generate $11-15 million annually and will be dedicated for targeted areas of focus, including criminal justice and combating child abuse, sexual assault and domestic violence, as well as homelessness and substance use and mental health treatment.  Regular reporting on the use of the tax revenue will ensure that public funds are being used responsibly.

“We support passage of Proposition 13,” said Bill Popp, AEDC president. “Having a healthy city that addresses substance misuse, homelessness, and public safety increases our ability to attract talent and investment and moves us forward as a community.”

About AEDC

AEDC is a private nonprofit corporation, operating since 1987. It exists to encourage growth and diversity in the Anchorage economy, promote a favorable business climate and improve the standard of living of Anchorage residents.

Media contacts:

Katie Dougherty, AEDC, (907) 334-1205

Gary Scott, Thompson & Co. PR, (907) 561-4488

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