CHEER SECTION – Sitka High and Mt. Edgecumbe High School cheerleaders react to a successful free throw Tuesday night at Sitka High during the cross-town boys basketball game. Edgecumbe boys and girls teams each won their games against Sitka High. Stories on the hard-fought games are on page 4 of today’s Sentinel. The region tournament takes place in Sitka in mid-March. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

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Daily Sitka Sentinel

Sitka Tax-Free for 2 Days Following Thanksgiving

By SHANNON HAUGLAND

Sentinel Staff Writer

The two days after Thanksgiving this week will be additional holidays for Sitka shoppers.

These will be sales tax holidays, when the city’s 5 percent sales tax won’t be charged on most retail sales.

The post-Thanksgiving tax-free days have become a tradition, though they have to be authorized in advance each year – which the Assembly did on Sept. 13, setting Nov. 25 and 26 for this year’s shopping event.

The tax exemption applies to sales other than for fuel, alcohol, tobacco, marijuana or “any sale that is part of a continuing obligation to the buyer to pay the seller over time,” the Assembly motion said.

City Finance Director Melissa Haley said the city doesn’t have a tracking mechanism for a precise figure on the amount of tax-free spending that can be expected, but based on recent years it estimates it will be $500,000 over the two days.

That would mean a loss to the city of about $25,000 in sales tax revenue.

The city collects tax on sales by online retailers, but Haley said she can’t estimate how much tax revenue will be forgone through those sales.

The event is intended to provide an incentive to shop locally, and most retailers have given the event positive reviews.

The Assembly started the sales tax holidays decades ago, but formerly reviewed sales tax figures before approving one or two days of “holidays” through an ordinance. In 2013, the holidays were made a part of the Sitka General Code, with the provision that the Assembly can declare them with a single reading at the Assembly table.

Shirley Robards, co-owner of Stereo North, has been supportive of the holiday since the start. She said she appreciates that the Assembly now declares the dates for the tax holidays in September, allowing her time to plan special sales for those dates.

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AK COVID-19

At a Glance

(updated 9-12-2023)

By Sentinel Staff

The state Department of Health and Social Services has posted the following update on the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Alaska as of 8:57 a.m. Tuesday, September 12.

New cases as of Tuesday: 278

Total cases (cumulative) statewide – 301,513

Total (cumulative) deaths – 1,485

Case Rate per 100,000 – 38.14

To visit the Alaska DHSS Corona Response dashboard website click here.

COVID in Sitka

The Sitka community level is now "Low.'' Case statistics are as of Tuesday.

Case Rate/100,000 – 152.50

Cases in last 7 days – 13

Cumulative Sitka cases – 3,575

Deceased (cumulative) – 10

The local case data are from Alaska DHSS.

 

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20 YEARS AGO

February 2004

Photo caption: White Elephant Shop treasurer Ginny Cushing presents a $1,300 check to Monica Bettis, Sitka Community  Hospital long-term care activities director, and Kathy Inman, long-term care manager at the hospital. The donation is to be used to buy a wide-screen TV for the long-term unit.


50 YEARS AGO

February 1974

Photo caption: Gov. William Egan presents trophies to the all-tourney team in the Sitka American Legion Invitational Basketball Tournament. From left are Brad Sele, Klukwan; Gene Short, Ketchikan; David Harnum, Sitka Arrowhead Truckers; Terry Friske, Klukwan; and Jay Levan, Sitka American Legion.

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