Be fair to seniors

Letter

Posted: Tuesday, March 13, 2001

CBJ Assembly members, working through elected and hired CBJ officials, are once more, seriously attempting to reduce benefits currently awarded to senior citizens.

Craig Duncan, CBJ revenue man, laid out figures and Alaska Department of Labor statistical projections at Thursday's well-attended meeting of the Commission On Aging. These, he indicated, paint a down-curving picture for future CBJ revenue, linking over $2 million worth to, among other old age-benefits, the senior's sales tax exemption program. Duncan cited $950,000 as the sales tax amount "lost" to CBJ coffers because of seniors.

Commission members and other participants then repeatedly told Duncan and subsequently, the mayor and one Assembly member, of the enormous contributions seniors make to this community. Most simply in terms of choosing to spend their remaining years, money, and individual expertise through years of continuous volunteerism. Where, I ask, are the dollar figures pointing up this fact? Where are these projections amongst the ever-present statistical charts?

Seniors can be concerned when there is a conscious attempt by CBJ and a few members of the younger population, to make them feel guilty for: "Being an unfair financial burden to all the other tax-payers." This statement carries a rather paranoia-inducing theme. A theme seniors seem targeted for, when it should really be about respect for elders and their numerous contributions.

While I paid my taxes all the while I was younger, I do believe a tax on food is an extra burden on those in our community who are the least able to afford it.

No folks, CBJ seriously needs to look elsewhere for the 2-point something million-dollar "loss" in revenue.

Is it head-tax increase time folks?

Alan R. Munro

Juneau



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