Don’t rush state income tax

  • By Richard Frost
  • Friday, April 21, 2017 2:07pm
  • News

I’m a 60-year-old lifetime Alaskan and remember paying my state income tax.

An Income tax is the only way we can get a contribution from the workers that take 25 percent of oilfield money out of state while only buying a beer at the airport in Anchorage as a contribution to our state’s economy.

I was in favor of re-instating it until last week, when I discovered the “Bait and Switch.”

Legislators found out that they could not or would not utilize the structure of an even percentage for all, based on our personal federal income tax bill, which is what they were selling us during election time.

This indicates to me they either provided us with false information of what they proposed (and I hope that’s not the case), or at the very least they did not research the tax structure well enough in advance and are now trying to force something through at the last minute, just to get it through.

If they were in favor of flat percentage of oure federal tax bill (same percentage for everyone) as originally planned, why can’t they come up with a flat percentage for all now?

Example: 2 percent of $50,000 earnings is still half as much as 2 percent of $100,000 earnings. Why do they want 2.5 percent of the $100,000 now?

Yes, they will exempt dividend earnings which saves Alaska residents something. They need to come up with more deductions that only Alaskans can utilize. For example: DMV fees, property tax, sales tax paid locally, rental sales taxes paid.

Let’s have a modest, flat percentage as they originally proposed without tax brackets.

This just has not been thought out enough yet.

This is reminiscent of policies passed on the federal level that get forced through without enough research to make them workable the first time. I expect more from Alaska’s representatives.

Contact your state representatives in the House and Senate.

Ask them to shelve this income tax bill for another year or a special session later in the year, though it would be better not to pay added the expenses for a special session.

Alaskan families have already contributed thousands of dollars each to the state general fund in dividend check reductions, and the state will not go broke this year.

Put this on hold till we get honest answers on the proposed tax bracket structure and have time to analyze it, and until we see how the Legislature balances the budget in other areas.

I personally am not opposed to a fair income tax on the state level if it is a modest, flat percentage, same for all, but only if I am satisfied with the rest of the budget planning.

Initiating a state income tax is a last resort, and it will not be repealed later.

Get it right the first time. But not this time.

 

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