Kott: "When was the last time you rented a car in Alaska when you actually had to pay for it?"
Shades of Marie Antionnette!
Kott's tax bill would target rental cars
STATE: Proposal would add levy of 15 percent; affected firms protest.
By CATHY BROWN
The Associated Press
(Published: April 24, 2003)
JUNEAU -- House Speaker Pete Kott wants to make travelers help pay for Alaska government by putting a 15 percent state tax on car rentals.
The Eagle River Republican said the tax, which would raise about $7.5 million, would be less painful for Alaskans than other measures being suggested to balance the state budget.
"I believe in most cases Alaskans are not going to be affected," Kott said. "When was the last time you rented a car in Alaska when you actually had to pay for it?"
Government rentals would be exempt, and if someone had to rent a car while theirs was in the shop, an out-of-state insurance company would probably foot the bill, Kott said. He estimated tourists would pay 80 percent of the tax.
But car rental companies say Kott's proposal would impose the highest tax in the country on their businesses at a time when the tourism industry is expecting a bleak season.
Dan Coffey, an owner of Dollar Rent a Car in Anchorage, told the House Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday that rental car customers in Anchorage already pay more than $8 million in state and local taxes and fees.
That's from an 8 percent Anchorage rental car tax on top of a 10 percent airport fee.(more)