Point of View

Time to fix income tax system with fair tax plan

An issue that deserves our attention has recently surfaced in the debates between the Republican Party candidates who hope to unseat Sen. Mark Begich in the Nov. 4 general election. That issue is the 100-year-old income tax system which can only be described as a ridiculous, complex and intrusive mess. It is burdensome to tax filer, destructive to the economy and custom designed to invite political motivated abuse and corruption. It is broken beyond repair and the time has come to correct a 100-year-old mistake.

Who owns the sun? Or the fish?

It’s time for a little perspective.

A man once bought a block of land. On it, he built nice house, but nothing special. He invested in that house and built a family around it and gradually rebuilt the walls and windows, replaced the carpets, made general upgrades. He made those upgrades for the sake of his family and to hopefully one day get a return for the time and money he invested.

Creating safer community, one bystander at a time

“I was waiting for a bus in Philadelphia along with about a dozen others. There was this altercation happening, and all of us there at the bus stop chose to ignore it, including me. I realize looking back on it that collectively, we had created a culture of doing nothing.”

Sue Rennolds told this story during a Green Dot class and it still sticks with me. The familiar feeling of helplessness, hesitancy and mutual discomfort. I’ve been there. It’s called the bystander effect.

Vote Yes: Some answers on Ballot Measure 1

The governor has the ability to veto any bill he does not think is in the best interest of the state. The people also have the veto through a difficult petition and election process as seen in Ballot Measure 1. Although we would default to the prior tax system, ACES, a citizen “veto” of Senate Bill 21 does not create a new tax or prevent acceptable oil tax reform.


Q – Should Alaskans want less competition for our oil?

Area’s assembly members argue for, against bed tax

Editor’s Note: The Homer News asked Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly members Bill Smith, who represents Homer on the assembly, and Mako Haggerty, who represents the rest of the southern peninsula, to share their views on a proposed bed tax. An ordinance that would put such a tax before voters in the October municipal election will get a second hearing before the assembly on July 22.


Proposal is way to restructure how we pay to attract visitors

Which oil tax would you pick?

Just cause the guy’s a greasy thug and you’re scared doesn’t mean you’ve got to grab the tab. You bet Alaska is a tough place to drill for oil — hundreds of miles from a road, with temperatures that turn oil into sludge, where crews are remote and cold.

But if you’re an oil executive you pick the politics, you choose the infrastructure, you pick your battles with the insurgencies, you choose your chance of hitting oil, you pick what you pay in royalties.  Go ahead pick:

Taxes less than Alaska
(46% includes federal and state royalties)

Vote ‘yes’ on Proposition 1 SB 21 good for oil companies, not so good for Alaska’s future

One of the things I like best about Homer is that friends can disagree and remain friends. A friend of mine wrote last week’s Point of View in support of SB 21, the oil tax give away. It read like a BP press release, full of unsupported statistics and misleading facts. He could not be more wrong.   

Mentoring: important way to pay it forward

Who mentored you? It’s a question that I ask new “Big” volunteers when I interview them at Big Brothers Big Sisters. The answers are fascinating and widely varied: parents, relatives, teachers, coaches, scout leaders, family friends, neighbors, older siblings, friends both young and old, spouses, pastors, employers, co-workers, and on and on. Their answers always trigger memories about the school mentors I had in my own life when I was younger and most of all the host of relatives that lived nearby. 


Voting ‘no on one’ will do much to help state’s business climate

As every business person knows, Alaska can be a tough place to do business. Much of what makes it such a challenge here is out of our control: high costs, distant markets, harsh weather, small workforce. What we can control is how we treat our businesses — and that’s why it’s so important to vote no on one on Aug. 19.

It’s time for Alaskans to be responsible owners

Why I am against SB 21 and believe we need to repeal the “giveaway” this August 19th:

I am from and therefore of Alaska. What I know about life, the world and living has been acquired while existing almost exclusively in Alaska. In other words, Alaska has shaped me and as I grow into stages of adulthood I understand the importance of helping, in my small way, shape Alaska, in return. 

‘March for Alaska’ set for Saturday; elder statesman Vic Fischer to speak

nonpartisan group of Homer people have organized a “March for Alaska” event on Saturday, June 14. Our group is concerned about recent changes to oil taxation in Alaska as enacted by Senate Bill 21. We believe that the former tax structure of ACES provides more fairness to Alaskans.

Honor ‘owner state’ concept; vote ‘yes’ Aug. 19

My friend Mike Heimbuch offered his opinion recently that it may have been a  mistake for the legislature to overturn the oil tax law known as ACES in favor of Senate Bill 21. Mike and I have some common ground in that we are both offspring of Alaska homesteaders and were enjoying Alaska long before oil was discovered.  Mike and I don’t agree on every political issue, but our friendship endures. 

Passages: Homer nonprofits specialize in helping at critical junctures in lives old and young

I’m struck by the passages we go through in our lives. There are many passages we make by choice, from graduation and promotions, to enlistments, marriages and becoming parents. For me, however, the most important passages are the “natural passages,” those we go through, but not by choice. We go through them as we age and as we face the circumstances of life.


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