How should the Haines Borough Assembly decide which nonprofit groups get breaks on paying Haines’ sales tax? That’s what the assembly members want to know.

Consequently, they unanimously decided Tuesday to have the assembly’s finance committee meet Sept. 29 to start putting together written criteria on granting local and out-of-state nonprofit organizations exemptions on paying the 5.5 percent sales tax.

“This has been needed for many years,” said assembly member George Campbell.

So far, 76 nonprofit groups from Haines, around Alaska and elsewhere are exempt. The assembly approved sales tax exemptions at Tuesday’s meeting for three more nonprofit organizations: Baha’i Community of Haines and Klukwan, an Ohio Boy Scout troop on a trip to the borough and a Michigan YMCA trip to the borough.

However, assembly members wondered if they should continue approving such requests from all nonprofit groups. They noted that such exemptions sometimes make nonprofit organizations’ trips to the region more affordable.

Ultimately, the assembly decided that the finance committee should study the matter and come up with written criteria. Every organization exempt from the Haines sales tax will then resubmit applications for the tax break after the criteria are approved.