Letter: Everyone using state services should contribute

Everyone using state services should contribute

Dear Sen. Peter Micciche,

This is your fourth session to resolve the state of Alaska’s financial issues and balance the budget. First of all let me thank you for ending the oil tax credits last year that was placing a burden on future budgeting processes.

Your present role as Senate Majority Leader in Juneau is to solve the state’s fiscal future by tackling the revenue issues brought about by reduced oil revenues! Two years ago you passed a policy that taxes every Alaskan by taking half of our PFD payment to pay for the state government services I receive. The Senate’s lack of new revenue action in three prior budget impasse sessions required withdrawals from the Constitutional Budget Reserve. Today the CBR is down to about $2 billion and will be completely drained in 2018. The senate’s work in 2017 led to reducing expenses that severely impacted education and public safety, while we have major issues with crime through out the state. How proud you must be of Alaska’s new U.S 2017 record to have the highest gun deaths per 100,000 of our citizens.

In December before the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly, you announced “… The Senate is not supporting any additional revenue at this time.” Given that comment I have a couple of questions for you to answer?

1) Why is it OK to tax every Alaska Citizen by taking half of our PFD and not coming up with new revenue?

2) What state taxes are the out of state workers paying in the fishing, construction and oil industry?

3) Why do we continue to provide free state services to all the tourists coming to Alaska?

4) What income taxes are the businesses paying for all the state services they receive?

You went on to say “The Senate is very dogmatic about not diversifying revenues.” I would surely hope that you and your senate colleagues would change your attitudes and take a look at being real leaders and solve Alaska’s revenue issues. I have no problem with paying my fair share of state taxes by the state taking half of my PFD. However, all out-of-state employees, businesses and visitors getting a free pass on taxes is a little too much!

With warm regards

Richard Peck