I was raised in Funter Bay. My parents are two of only a handful of people who chose to build a life and career here, outside the auspices of city services.
As members of Alaska's legislatively approved unorganized borough, we and many other Bush residents avoid the local tax obligations which other borough residents must shoulder. We also live without the security of police and fire protection, local school facilities, road systems, and all other state-funded social institutions. Put simply, we pay no local taxes because we receive no local services. Except for the purchase of groceries and hardware, on which we pay sales tax, we are no more tied to Juneau than Juneau is to the metropolitan center of Seattle. What "protection" the city could offer us, on an island accessible only by boat and floatplane, is difficult to imagine.
My family is able to continue living here - barely - on the profits of a small commercial trolling operation. This is only because Alaska still allows its residents the choice of exchanging the security and duties of community life with the responsibilities of protecting ourselves, educating our own children, and establishing our own power and water infrastructure, among other things.
I hope that the Annexation Commission can realize that the potential revenue generated by my hometown - population four - is neither justifiable nor in keeping with the respect for Bush life which first prompted the establishment of the unorganized borough system.
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