I’m in full support of reinstating an income tax for Alaska. Why? We need essential services funded. It is not an option to put them on the chopping block. Cutting back on education, health and mental health programs, environmental protections, parks, highway maintenance, ferries, and many other services will mean we are cutting back on the very things that made Alaska a safe, healthy, and civilized state.
Why would anyone not be willing to support these things?
Sure, nobody likes to part with their hard-earned money. Yet we all paid income taxes before we were spoiled by the oil boom. I remember the pride I felt way back in the day, when part of my first lowly cannery paycheck was taken out for the state income tax. It made me feel like a citizen, a grown up, a participant in my government and a contributor to the welfare of my community.
Regardless of how anyone feels about taxes, it all comes down to a sense of personal responsibility: What am I willing to contribute to keep my ship afloat?
So I’m willing to jump in and pay my share of taxes as long as it’s going to the right places. And if everyone who earns in this state pays their share, including non-resident businesses and seasonal workers. And as long as my hard-earned money is not subsidizing yet another big corporation looking for write-offs and loopholes under the guise of investing in Alaska.
I think that once folks pay out of their own pockets they will pay a lot more attention where their money is going and be more involved in how it is spent.