Seniors need to help solve the problems they created

  • Thursday, March 17, 2016 9:34am
  • News

Commenting as a lifelong Alaskan and senior citizen — the outrage being expressed by seniors against the Homer City Council and Rep. Paul Seaton for seeking local control over property tax is too harsh. It’s also quite forgetful of the mess my generation has gotten this state and country into.

That fixed income some seniors live on? My 30-year -old daughter is on a fixed income as well — it’s called her salary — and her future isn’t nearly as bright looking as it was for people in 1970. She pays into a bloated defense budget, a social security system that isn’t needs based for seniors, a country that is deficit spending like you can’t believe, and if she is lucky enough to own a house here she will be paying to subsidize seniors — many who are living far better than she possibly ever will. 

And who brought us this situation? People who are now seniors, of course. The ones that exploded state government spending, the ones screaming about the loss of a permanent fund dividend. The ones who’ve encouraged our municipalities and cities to incur debt for civic infrastructure because it comes with federal matching funds that they borrow from our children’s future paychecks and saddle them with the debt without asking. How can we possibly be surprised that our younger people are looking to us to help solve the problems we created?

This property tax question is not about conservative or liberal politics. It’s about something far more important — fair tax. Quite simply the fairness of any tax policy rests on the ability of people to pay measured against the services they want. When life expectancy was 65-70 years, a senior property tax exemption was an easier idea. Now that life expectancy is so much longer we need to revisit some of those assumptions. 

One of the selling points of a state income tax is that it would give local government the information and opportunity to develop a needs based property tax structure. 

Simply saying we are seniors — we deserve it — is no longer enough. 

And as far as spending all of your income locally in Homer, show me a young working person who doesn’t. As a class — us seniors aren’t that special — and if it takes the city council and Rep Seaton to help point that out, so be it.

 I don’t want my kids to subsidize my property tax. I’ll be satisfied if they just put some gas into the tank when they borrow my car. 

Mike Heimbuch


More in News

A diagram presented by Teresa Jacobson Gregory illustrates the proposed extension of the Beachcomber LLC gravel pit and the impact it may have on the surrounding state recreation area. The red markers indicate the current gravel mining area, and the orange represents the area the extension may allow for mining if approved. (Image courtesy of Teresa Jacobson Gregory)
KPB Assembly to consider gravel-pit ordinance revisions

Proposed gravel pit ordinance follows Superior Court ruling that planning commission can deny permits.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education meets on Monday, Dec. 6, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
School board works to highlight students’ voices

Within the first hour of the meeting students would have up to five minutes each to address the board about any issue

Furniture awaits use in a bedroom at a cold weather shelter set to open next month on Monday, Nov. 22, 2021 in Nikiski, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Half of beds at Nikiski shelter are occupied

The shelter opened at the end of December 2021

A group of community members gather together on Thursday, Jan. 6 at WKFL Park to protest the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on the one-year anniversary of the attack. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)
South Peninsula residents turn out to ‘defend democracy’

Members of the Homer community and the Unitarian Universalists of Homer gathered… Continue reading

This image available under the Creative Commons license shows the outline of the state of Alaska filled with the pattern of the state flag. The state on Thursday reported a modest population growth between April 2020 and July 2021. It's the first time since 2016 the state has reported a population increase. (
State reports small population growth

Net migration still negative, but not as negative.

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Health officials: Some monoclonal treatments widely ineffective against omicron

The new guidance comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

State Sen. Peter Micciche fields questions from constituents during a joint chamber luncheon on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022 at the Kenai Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
State Senate president lays out vision for upcoming session

Micciche seeks path forward on budget, looks to pass legislation on fishing permits, alcohol regulations

Snow covers the sign on Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021, at the South Peninsula Hospital Bartlett Street COVID-19 testing and vaccination clinic in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
Local COVID-19 alert rate quadruples

State alert level per 100,000 people now is above 1,100.

Most Read