Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The two incumbent Assembly members on the ballot Tuesday won re-election even though they were targeted for defeat over their vote to reign in senior sales tax exemptions.
Jesse Kiehl and Maria Gladziszewski both won re-election in convincing manners.
Rob Edwardson defeated incumbent Debbie White who also voted for reduction in exemptions.
Edwardson favors restoration of full exemptions for seniors.
Gladziszewski and Kiehl were asked on Action Line Friday how they think that debate will go this time around..
Gladziszewski said they won't know until they bring it up. "There are enough votes to bring it up. Certainly there are at least five members who have expressed support for it. How that will go, I don't know." She added that she thinks it would be close.
Kiehl says, "If that's the will of the majority of Assembly members to spend that much city resources on that instead of other things, then we will." He added that he'll keep an open mind and look at the numbers and look at the facts, and listen to the people.
Kiehl, who chairs the Assembly Finance Committee, was asked about the impact of full restoration of exemptions. He thought a good ball park figure would be $1.8 Million annually. More importantly, he thought, would be the growth of the senior population and the financial impact that will have.
An ordinance introduced at the last Assembly meeting would increase the number of items that could be exempted to include prepared foods, household supplies, and personal care items.
The measure will come up for public hearing and action at the October 16 regular meeting, the same night the new Assembly is sworn in.