Cut the budget before introducing new taxes

Letter to the editor

Posted: Sunday, March 14, 2004

No one is ever in favor of an income-tax system. I am particularly incensed that some know-it-all business tycoons would propose an income-tax system. Salaries and wages are deductible business expenses. The remaining profit is subjact to a 35-percent total corporate tax rate; therefore, they know very well that an income tax system imposes double taxation on a company's profits. But, since the company doesn't have to pay this additional tax they think that by placing this burden upon their employees/worker bees they can escape with a bigger load of profit, right out from under the taxman's nose.

When we're constantly being told about cost overruns on state and city projects, when we have oil fields and gas resources and other facilities that are not generating the expected revenue, and when huge tax breaks are being given out at the expense of the people by an Alaskan administration that should know better, then we need to come to grips with our spending before considering any further taxes.

Apparently that message is not getting through to the state administration. It is still spending money on nice-to-have projects rather than budget items that need to be funded in order for the state to function. I'm sure the administration can point to many things it has done to reduce spending, but when you review these measures, many of them are based on counting the beans a different way.

The governor should go back and prepare a "no frills" budget, recount his beans and then try to convince the public that a tax increase is justified. Cut the frills and then just maybe an income tax wouldn't be necessary. An income tax should be a last resort, not an extra source of money so the unchecked spending can continue. In any event quit crying poverty while giving huge tax breaks to the oil companies at the expense of our old folks' longevity bonus.

John J. Kiernan

Anchorage



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