Rep. Louise Stutes on an income tax: “Agreed!”


It’s tax season and only seven days left to the federal tax filing deadline of April 15. Just in time for Rep. Louise Stutes of Kodiak to make it known she’s onboard with state income taxes.

Fed up with talks of cuts and efficiency, Rep. Stutes took a bold stance today, firmly supporting new income taxes in her response to a message from an Alaskan who says he is ready for a state income tax.

Stutes hit the “all reply” function with her one word answer: “Agreed!” That made sure that all of her colleagues in the Legislature know just where she stands.

It’s rare for a Republican to be so frank about wanting to institute an income tax on a conservative population that doesn’t have one on the books, but Stutes often writes in her constituent newsletter about the need for such a tax. Her Kodiak residents have a per-capita income of $32,600, not counting the $3,000 Permanent Fund dividend that the Dunleavy Administration wants to return to each Alaskan.


  1. What’s the net gain after we hire an unknown number of union employees and build a building, who knows where to tax us how much?

    Who’s going to set and control the tax rate? Do we really want another PFD type battle on our hands year after year?

  2. Well if we are going to a state income tax then I say we should get all the oil royalties not just 11% going into the PFD. Not to Mention that even our state would kill itself by hiring outside contractors to do all of its work hence removing state income what a stupid idea

  3. Having an income tax and a Dividend at the same time is the socialist dream of simple wealth redistribution.
    I wish the liberal/progressive/socialists would give up on this idea which is State unconstitutional in the first place –
    Article 9, section 6: “No tax shall be levied, or appropriation of public money made, or public property transferred, nor shall the public credit be used, except for a public purpose.”
    The real debate is between the size of government spending and the size of the Dividend.
    I am Ok with an income tax but not til the Dividend is depleted. However it appears to me that day might not come as soon as once thought.
    (Even assuming no further borrowing from the CBR which will be the litmus test this year.)

  4. I’m just wondering when the number of Republicans under the bus equals those on it. I’d put my money on June 25th.

    Stedman, von Imhof, Bishop, Wilson, Shower and Micciche look to be about to fail the Medicaid Kool-aid loyalty test. Who is next?

    • Some people will abandon their core beliefs (assuming they ever had them) and lie to the populace just to get a taste of that sweet sweet power of being an elected official. It really is amazing how many run and get elected as Republicans in this state while they hold very little if any republican values (the capital R and lowercase r were very much intended). I can’t remember a time when we ever had an actual conservative majority even with all the Republican majorities we’ve had.

      • Yes. I’ve been watching RINO’s in DC for years. Murkowski being a prime example. However, I don’t think that explains the entire phenomenon in Juneau.


        The Governor doesn’t have the mandate to pull of what he is attempting. That’s an attempt at shifting a lot of ground that has been firmly established. Complaining that the legislature doesn’t reflect the population goes only so far. Trying to generate that mandate from the budget crisis isn’t going to work. What is the Governor trying to do to reach out to the people who will be responsible to change all of the laws and move the Consitutional Ammendments forward. Is he giving them a vision of a balanced and cut budget with a plan? No.


        I’m rooting for the guy to be successful at reducing government and making it more efficient while providing a good job economy with an increasing standard of living for Alaska. What I’m seeing suggests someone who can’t make that happen and who has a track record of passing the buck. He was an educator, a superintendent, a school board president, and he literally passed the Mat-Su School bond buck…..ironically to himself (and now back to the people who voted for him in the Mat-Su). His lack of ability to pass legislation doesn’t bode well for his agenda.

      • It’s also amazing how many “Republicans” in Alaska are working for or have worked for the oil companies. And not in an oilfield worker capacity.

  5. Well, a lot of people disagree. One income tax (federal) is enough. That’s money that comes right out of your paycheck, retirement check, savings interest check, dividend(s) checkand maybe your social security check that you might need far more than the state to support your family. Especially considering the per capita rates Suzanne notes in the article. Don’t give the state that kind of power over your earnings.

  6. I just read Suzanne’s info that I think 29% of Alaskans are on medicaid. Thats over a quarter. And your going to tax these people’s income when they are prohibited from paying any kind of monthly fee or copays for medicaid services? Just how many people will be the base of those paying an income tax considering Alaska’s small population. Sounds like a few people will pay alot on top of all the other various taxes we will be paying. We’re a small state (population wise) so we need small government. So what if we don’t have the best of everything government. Its ok! And thats what I’ll be telling my reps.

    • Maybe 100,000-150,000 would actually pay any income tax. The tax proposed under the previous administration amounted to $200,000,000. If we can’t do without the less than 2% of our state budget by punishing those who generate an income then we have failed as a state. An income tax is meaningless, other than to punish certain people (income earners) in this state.

      • Steve-O, an income tax with a “credit” allowed for the entire PFD would collect from out-of-state earners and allow few residents who would actually pay anything. The little people have been punished so far with the taking of part of their PFDs with the fat cats getting off almost free-time for them to pony up IMO.

  7. The SOA is not going to tax itself to prosperity and/or achieve fiscal responsibility by implementing a income tax. The fundamental issue is that the SOA has an “spending” problem rather than a “income” problem.
    … What could be the potential consequences of such an endeavor?

  8. Full disclosure: Posting comments in “Must Read Alaska” is a treasured privilege. The following is therefore offered with utmost love and civility.

    Would it be rude to ask: “Ms. Stutes, please get the hell out, resign, retire, take your spoils with you, be gone.
    Productive Alaskans are sick and bloody tired of yours and your cohorts’ posturing idiocy, self aggrandizement, pandering to your lobbyists, sponsors, and every other special-interest parasite except the productive Alaskans who may have accidentally voted for you, possibly confusing you with a legitimate representative.
    We do not know (or care) what twisted, asinine substitute for logic or fiduciary duty to your constituents led to your apparent conviction that Getting More Money For Government is your Prime Directive for occupying the Holy City of Juneau.
    We do know: major parasites like the Alaska Municipal League have $600M rat holed away out of taxpayers’ reach; non-profits won’t pay a damned dime of your damned Stutestax, special-interest groups will continue to shell out $20M annually to buy lobbyists to buy (expl del) politicians such as yourself, able-bodied, adult parasites will still get Medicaid and not pay a damned dime of your Stutestax, union thugs will get “raises” that compensate completely for your Stutestax, no Native Corporation dividend recipient will pay a damned dime of your Stutestax, and, last, but not least, the Great Alaska LeDoux Vote Experiment worked which clearly means more is coming!
    What does all that mean?
    Remember the mass exodus of the mid 1980’s, oil got cheap, government got big, people got out?
    Now, thirty years later, same damned thing, except more of it!
    Cheaper oil, bigger government, more people getting out (all the new “for sale” signs just lawn decorations?) and, FYI, productive Alaskans left behind who are vexed enough with you and your comrades to give serious thought and time and effort to recalls, tax rebellions, jury nullifications (think about that), for starters…
    So, Peoples Representative Stutes, don’t threaten us, pass your Stutestax, do it now…
    …so productive Alaskans can get on with un-taxing themselves, flushing you and your cohorts out of office, and helping Governor Dunleavy cut this cancerous, monstrous parody of state government down to size, union thugs and special interest parasites be damned.
    All meant in a loving, civil, sustainable way of course!

  9. Absolutely not! Sales tax, ok. But don’t be state-income-taxing us homeowners more, especially not us retired folks!

    • Respectfully disagree…
      By the time the sales tax gets up to ten, twelve, fifteen percent, it’ll be too late for retirees to say it’s not okay.
      Retirees have to live within their means… seems like they have a right to expect their government to do the same.

  10. First, keep cutting government fat. There’s plenty more to cut. Should it ever come down to needing an additional tax, make it a sales tax. That way everyone pays their fair share. And we get money from the millions of visitors. An income tax punishes success and rewards failure. It creates another bureaucracy and provides retired people one more incentive to relocate elsewhere.

    • By the time every special-interest group gets its sales-tax exemption, how much money do you think that sales tax will bring in…
      …and what do you think will happen to that money?

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