Alcohol sales tax increase proposition to be on ballot for Bethel voters

A proposition to increase tax on sales of alcoholic beverages from 12% to 15% will be on the ballot in October, according to Ordinance 17-36 which was passed by the Bethel City Council.
Ordinance 17-36 submits to the qualified voters of the City of Bethel a ballot proposition to amend the Bethel Municipal Code to increase the alcoholic beverage sales tax from 12% to 15% and to deduct 20% of the revenue generated from the tax to health, public safety and social services uses related to alcoholic beverages, and to provide for approval by a majority of qualified voters voting on the question.
The municipal election will take place on October 3rd, 2017.
Proposition No. 1 will ask voters, shall the City of Bethel increase the alcohol tax on the sales of alcoholic beverages in the City of Bethel to 15%? A yes vote will increase the tax. A no vote will maintain the tax on alcohol sales at a rate of 12%.
Section 3 of Ord. 17-36 states that for such period of time as the City of Bethel levies a tax…at a rate of 15% or greater, 20% of the revenues collected from the sales of alcohol in each fiscal year shall be placed in a separate interest bearing account. The funds generated in the separate interest bearing account will be used to fund the Community Action Grant programs which shall focus on advancing the community’s opportunities, sustainability and wellbeing with components that foster community wellness, direct impact to the community’s vulnerable populations and/or civic engagement of Bethel residents and project beneficiaries.
The amendments outlined in Ord. 17-36 shall become effective if, and only if, approved by a majority of voters voting on the question.
This ordinance was introduced by council member Leif Albertson during the June 13th, 2017 regular council meeting. Public hearing took place on June 27. The ordinance was adopted by a vote of 5-2 with Mayor Rick Robb and Vice Mayor Fred Watson in opposition. Voting in favor were council members Albertson, Mark Springer, Naim Shabani, Norman Ayagalria, and Alisha Welch.

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