If you’re ordering from Amazon, you’ll notice a new charge – a city sales tax. Alaskans haven’t paid local taxes to the online-retailer, until now. And the City of Wrangell expects to get their cut.
KTOO in Juneau recently reported that locals are seeing a 5 percent city sales tax on their Amazon purchases.
And residents throughout Alaska are seeing the same thing.
Wrangell residents should see a 7 percent sales tax, the same as any purchase in town, on their Amazon orders.
Aleisha Mollen is an accountant for the City of Wrangell. This was a surprise to the city.
“We had someone local come in and let us know that they had been charged sales tax,” Mollen said.
Regardless of how the tax was rolled out, the city will take it.
“We have a lot of questions,” Mollen said. “We are running it through our borough attorney to make sure that we have all of our code up to date, and making sure we’ve doing everything the way it needs to be done.”
Now, Mollen is talking to Amazon about how to make this tax reflect the city’s intentions. That includes setting a cap on the tax and providing exemptions. Exemptions include those for businesses looking to resale their order.
The company did not respond to our request for comment, so we don’t know exactly why this is happening. But last year, The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states can require online retailers to collect and distribute sales tax. Amazon could be responding to that decision.
The City of Wrangell expects to see that money by April of this year. The city cannot estimate how much that would be.