THE ANCHORAGE DAILY PLANET
With what promises to be a barn-burner of a legislative session just on the horizon, a news story recently laid out Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s view of taxes: Surprise! He does not like them.
That has big-government advocates in a tizzy. Without taxes, without taking Alaskans’ Permanent Fund dividends, they wail, how will Alaska deal with its looming $1.5 billion budget deficit? The Legislature last year showed it will run from the notion of cutting government to match revenues like a vampire from the rising sun.
Dunleavy, to his credit, says he will not be proposing or supporting higher taxes in the coming legislative session – but adds he is open to the discussion.
He did, if you will recall, earlier push for a constitutional amendment that would require a vote of Alaskans on any new proposed broad-based taxes.
And why not? Alaska does not even require a supermajority vote in the Legislature to pass a new tax. Why not have Alaska voters decide how much, if anything, they are willing to invest in government? It is, after all, their government. Alaskans, not just legislators, should have final say on broad-based taxes such as income and sales levies.
All of that is anathema to our betters, but we think Dunleavy has the right idea. Alaskans should have final say on how much government they want.
If the more-government folks can make a legitimate case for more money and more government, so be it. If not, Alaskans would get the chance to put the question to rest.