City Corner - With Jon Cochrane For July 31

Jul 31, 2017

City Corner spoke this week with Bethel’s Finance Committee Chair, Jon Cochrane.
Credit Courtesy of Jon Cochrane

On City Corner this week, we cover a discussion on the tax code rewrite currently on the City Council agenda. City Corner spoke with Bethel’s Finance Committee Chair, Jon Cochrane.



Because of the lack of clarity, said Cochrane, there were a lot of areas of the tax code that were hard to enforce.


“The mechanism for enforcing it, or the clarity to where everybody can read it and know exactly what it applies to wasn’t really there,” said Cochrane, last Friday afternoon at KYUK studios.


As the Finance Department and City Attorney looked at various ways to fix the existing code, said Cochrane, it became obvious that it was easier just to start from scratch.


“They took ten different cities around Alaska and took a look at their codes, and tried to sort of merge ours with sort of the best of what everybody had to offer,” said Cochrane.


It was then presented to the Finance Committee over a year ago, which has been going through the document line by line, said Cochrane.


“That’s what we’ve been doing,” said Cochrane. “We’ve met about eighteen or nineteen times since then.”


For most of the citizens of Bethel there will be no substantial changes, said Cochrane.


“The tax rate isn’t changing, it’s still a 6 percent sales tax. It’s not a tax increase, or anything like that,” said Cochrane.


One of the changes the document does include is the way that the City of Bethel would handle taxes on non-profit gaming. To hear more about that, listen to our full episode.


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