The last Alaska tax: Personal income tax

By GARY WILKEN
ALASKA STATE SENATOR, RETIRED
FAIRBANKS

As the current state budget crisis continues to challenge us, and its potential severity to all of Alaska’s residents continues to evolve and become more widely known and understood, the search for additional revenues streams to support Alaska’s General Fund operating and capital budgets will be methodically and dutifully explored. Each stream will have its own benefits and each it’s own detractors. 

Our elected leaders will each have to make a list, some real, some virtual, ranking the order of each of these revenue options.  I respectfully suggest a personal income tax should be at the bottom of every list. Alaska may need it some day, but it should be “Alaska’s Last Tax.”  I offer my support for this position for your consideration.

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A bridge too far for cruise taxes

Last September, I wrote a series of columns about city plans to build a $10 million seawalk and 2.7-acre “recreational island” (subsequently renamed a “habitat island”) connected to a new city park for the bronze whale by the Douglas Bridge. Most of these improvements are being financed with marine passenger fees (cruise ship “head taxes”). 

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Lawmakers have support for Permanent Fund solution

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It's time for Juneau Access

The environmental community’s latest salvo attempting to torpedo the Juneau Access Project has arrived. Like numerous other attempts sponsored by the Wilderness Society, the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council, and others, it’s full of false assumptions and statements disguised as facts. With the grand title of “Easy to Start, Impossible to Finish IV”, it lumps four major Alaska construction projects together and would have us believe none of them are worth pursuing.

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Renew Your Faith

By Win Gruening

"Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe." - Saint Augustine

 

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Thank you, America

By WIN GRUENING

11.26.2015

In the emotional and often heated debate regarding U.S. aid to Syrian refugees, it would be easy to forget America’s leadership in welcoming and helping resettle refugees from around the world during our 240-year history. While no official immigration policies existed in our country until 100 years after our founding, without question many of the immigrants coming to America were fleeing religious and political persecution and would qualify as refugees today.

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Test driving Alaska's fiscal model

Oct. 29, 2015

By WIN GRUENING

FOR THE JUNEAU EMPIRE 

As the Legislature meets again in special session to wrestle with gas line issues, Gov. Bill Walker’s administration continues to advance its agenda of new revenue measures combined with minimal cost cutting. 

Using its highly touted Revenue and Expenditure Model as a centerpiece, administration officials and others have held numerous meetings around the state to show Alaskans how various revenue measures will be necessary to offset declining oil receipts.

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10 Tough Questions for the Alaska Permanent Fund Board of Trustees

THE GOVERNOR'S HANDMAIDEN-IN-WAITING: Four finalists were chosen from a field of 18 for the position of executive director of the Alaska Permanent Fund.

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Obama's visit was political theater with scenery

By Frank McQueary

In the 1970 novel by Robertson Davies, “Fifth Business,” the book’s title refers to a theatrical role that is not hero, heroine or protagonist, but essential to bringing about the finale, when all matters are explained or resolved.

Now that the dust has settled and the vapor trails of Air Force One fade in memory, Alaskans wonder if Alaska was the beautiful stagecraft in Barack Obama’s global warming tableau, or merely fifth business to move his theatrical opus toward its inevitable conclusion.

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Welcome to Alaska, Mr. President

By Suzanne Downing

A visit to Alaska for most Americans is the trip of a lifetime. Even for a president who travels the world to represent our nation and our unifying principles of freedom, Alaska is a big-deal destination.

As President Obama jets north to visit the 49th state, Alaskans are hoping he will not fall under the spell that we’ve seen happen to other visitors: “Alaska is so spectacular, we must lock it away so that it never changes.”

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