Alaska Chamber launches campaign against income tax - Must Read Alaska
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Wednesday, October 20, 2021
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Alaska Chamber launches campaign against income tax

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In a media buy that covers television and internet social media, the Alaska Chamber of Commerce today launched a major advertising offense against the proposed income tax.

In the ad, which began showing up today on social media channels like Facebook, small business owner Athena Fulton of Anchorage talks about how an income tax will harm her small business:

 

Curtis Thayer, president of the Alaska Chamber of Commerce, said a recent statewide poll showed that the majority of Alaskans agree with Ms. Fulton in opposing an income tax. Fully 58 percent oppose an income tax, while 41 percent support one to solve the state’s budget gap.

That 41 percent tracks with the tax-tolerant sympathies of the 4-in-10 Alaska voters who cast a ballot for President Barack Obama in 2012.

In the ad, Ms. Fulton refers to Rep. Les Gara and Rep. Paul Seaton as supporting Obama and his policies that hurt small business owners. The chamber has purchased ad time on GCI cable, Fox, and KTUU.

Rep. Seaton, a Republican from whom the Alaska Republican Party has voted to withdraw all support, introduced a new version of his income tax bill last week; this week he admitted that the new version was wholly provided by Gov. Bill Walker’s Administration.

The Governor’s version introduces a series of “progressive” tax brackets based on income. Also, it disallows important deductions such mortgage interest and charitable contributions. It is not simple. You may need to hire a tax accountant if this bill passes.

“This is a decision that was made based on the testimony we had,” Rep. Seaton said on Monday during House Finance discussion, when asked who had made the decision to design the taxes with income brackets.

“There was a tax consultant that was employed by the Administration to develop an income tax. and it was based on adjusted gross, which is what has been used in many other states.” – Rep. Paul Seaton.

Rep. Tammie Wilson, R-North Pole, reminded the committee that most Alaskans do not use itemized deductions when they file their federal income taxes, therefore they will not be able to deduct their state tax from what they owe the federal government.

Public testimony on HB 115, the income tax proposal, will be held on Wednesday at 1 pm for Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Juneau.

Then, starting at 5 pm, testimony from other Legislative Information Offices around the state will be taken. A list of LIOs is here.

For those not near a LIO, the call-in number is 907-586-9083. Be prepared to be on hold for some time, and they request that you hang up immediately after you testify to free up the lines.

Testimony is limited to two minutes.

Written testimony can be sent to: [email protected]

Access the meetings live through akleg.gov or 360north.org

More information on HB 115 can be found at the Alaska Legislature’s website.  The original version of HB 115 is dramatically different from the current version, which is Version L, with the governor’s new tax plan in place of the previous Seaton plan. Helpful documentation can be found under the Documents tab.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • Hmmm. I’m no lawyer, but how about a class action lawsuit to advocate for the productive class of this great state if this latest version of HB 115 gains traction? Extreme taxation of workers to support free handouts for takers just doesn’t seem right to me. The dividend should be eliminated for all before anyone should be taxed to support this travesty! (In my sincere and humble opinion as a 59-year productive resident.)

    • That is exactly how I feel dee.
      How can that be constitutional taxing one group to support another group.
      Take money from income earners and turn around and hand out free money to every Alaskan including children who are still dependents.
      Taxing is another huge layer of government that will eat up a big percentage of the money taken just to run itself.
      Will burden the state budget retirement problem with thousands more state employees
      Will hurt all small business owners
      Will drive many retirees right out of the state.
      Yes there is a small amount of people doing buisness here that aren’t paying for all they get but this won’t help us out much.
      Why is there zero coverage on the largest oil discovery in the United States in 30 years?
      Why not just use savings and have some faith in our new republican support on a federal level that drilling regs will soften and let us “drill baby drill”.
      Quit pushing the panic button.

  • Think they should just learn to balance the budget not waste money. Cut per diem and government non necessity and not over spend like they did when the government had a surplus. Oh and when they do. Do like any business when they mess up demand their resignation.

    • The problem with your thinking is that it is impossible to cut your way to prosperity. The deficit in funds goes beyond the costs of wages and while some do not value any government programs there remains a need for roads, sanitation, health inspection, education. The foolish choice was to drop the income tax in the first place. The volume of Alaskan dollars shipped to outside governments is huge. When a nonresident returns to his home the untaxed income is then eligible for taxation by that home government, despite the money and services coming from Alaska. Oil revenue cannot be expected to support Alaska for ever. Oil producers produce nothing. They merely transport our oil to market. When it is sold it is gone. Alaska must move past being a raw resources State, and diversify the funding of the services that the residents value.

      The foolish idea that a State Income Tax is damaging to small business ignores the huge number of very successful small businesses in other states with much larger taxation than that which is proposed for Alaska.

  • We all know the more money the Legislature gets, the more they are going to spend.. A state tax is not the answer! Along with Bourough taxes, you will tax the people to death! Cut your frivolous spending!

  • If we could only get our Governor and his million dollar trips under control we wouldn’t need a income tax!

  • This is insane! They are really taking the whole dividend and then some if this income tax passes. The state is basically stealing the PFD from grandmas on fixed incomes to little children that may be their parents only way to save for their college.

  • Also, seniors on fixed incomes who worked and saved all their lives to support themselves in retirement will have their “nest eggs” targeted to redistribute their “wealth.”

  • Did you know that Alaska is the only state in the union that doesn’t have an income tax or sales tax? You folks in Anchorage don’t watch the jewelry shop owners come into town for five months out of the year and take everything they make with them when they leave in September. An income tax would collect from these free loaders

    • Seven U.S. states currently don’t have an income tax: Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington and Wyoming. And residents of New Hampshire and Tennessee are also spared from handing over an extra chunk of their paycheck on April 15, though they do pay tax on dividends and income from investments.

    • Alaska is not the only state in the union with no income tax, try some facts maybe. Not all of Alaska has no sales tax, another wrong statement. No matter who is collecting that sales tax many of us are paying it. You should not spread ” fake news”.

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