This state has thrown away billions of dollars after Rep. Terry Gardner proposed eliminating Alaska's income tax and the Legislature agreed. The state income tax was easy to figure because it was a percentage of the federal income tax. It took a few more minutes to figure out how much a citizen owed Alaska, and it effectively taxed all those oil and pipeline employees who otherwise would have put nothing into the services Alaska provided. This state would have a balanced budget if the state income tax had not been repealed.
Mr. Gardner knew his fish business would make him rich, I surmise, because it's the wealthy who are against paying a graduated income tax. A sales tax is regressive because it taxes food and services families need to survive. I believe the wealthy among us say they support family values but don't support measures that really help struggling young families make "ends meet." Rich people don't know - or have forgotten, if they ever did know - what it's like to live on a strict budget and have something like sales taxes throw it completely out of balance.
While the sales tax is regressive, the graduated income tax is not because it's based on the income out of which taxes are paid, and the percentage of tax paid is not the same for poor young families as it is for the wealthy citizens who by and large oppose basing tax on income. I think there's a correlation here.
Juneau Empire ©2013. All Rights Reserved.