Sen. Tom Begich introduces state income tax bill - SB 100 - Must Read Alaska
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Monday, April 19, 2021
HomePoliticsSen. Tom Begich introduces state income tax bill — SB 100

Sen. Tom Begich introduces state income tax bill — SB 100

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Sen. Tom Begich of Anchorage has introduced SB 100, a 5 percent state income tax. The tax would be based on the federal tax rate.

“… the road Alaska is on has finally arrived at the edge of the fiscal cliff. Alaskans realize we need a balanced fiscal plan — a plan that relies on a balance of revenue sources and other solutions, not just on one or two major sources like oil and the Permanent Fund. We need a plan where we all play a part – where Alaskans and those who make their profit or their living here invest directly in the services we all use. That commitment will, in turn, increase taxpayer scrutiny of the budgets we produce,” he said.

The bill was referred to the State Affairs Committee and Finance Committee. State Affairs is chaired by Sen. Mike Shower, and Finance is co-chaired by Sens. Bert Stedman and Click Bishop. All three are Republicans.

At this point the bill has no cosponsors.

Follow the bill and related documents at this link.

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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

  • The Dirty Bastards club has given away our tax revenue from ACES. Big oil are screaming; don’t increase our taxes again. SB 21 is not providing us our fair share of tax revenue from our resources. We need Sarah Palin to come back as our Governor to take charge again and bring back ACES by simply declaring SB 21 null and void. It was enacted after being fully discussed, so no further voting is necessary.

    Absolutely no personal income taxes are warranted in a state so rich in natural resources. Personal income tax is double taxation. Wages and salaries are paid out of profits which are allowed as tax expenses to whatever company is paying them. No government wage or salary interference between employee and their employers is justified in a free society.

  • So let’s Tax only those of us who work and the other 70% go tax free.

    • Precisely. And the 70% can vote. Time to form a means of protection for the producers. Count me in to sign on the dotted line for a class action lawsuit against an income tax while doling out free money (perhaps to the tune of $5K) for every man, woman, and child in this state. Life isn’t fair, but this concept is beyond the pale.

      • (****) lawyers. Start w/ Ron and Penny Z as they’re the two that propped open the floodgates for Alaska’s parasitic subculture.

        • Yes indeedy! I remember those days, and the Zobels were despised by many old timers who are long gone now. I don’t remember much of the “ins and outs” because I was too busy in my early 30s earning a living to expect a windfall. However, what they accomplished did in fact set up this parasitic entitlement subculture. Cheers.

    • That “other 70%” going tax free is largely made up of people here for the PFD. Until the PFD is gone any tax would exist largely to provide free money to leeches.
      Let’s have someone smarter craft Alaska’s fiscal future please.

      • The cost of living in Alaska puts the PFD far in the red. Just about everyone on a fixed income would be way ahead if they moved to the S-48. That’s why so many Alaskan retirees do move out.
        About a third of working Alaskan’s make a living wage. The rest are never going to be able to escape payday loans.
        There may be two or three percent of Alaskan’s who could rightly be called leaches, but you lump two thirds of working Alaskans in that group.
        If you were a One Percenter, you would no doubt lump your present peer group in the leech category.

        • And this is exactly why the most important education no longer taught in schools is life skills. Wealth is a state of mind, not a state of finance.

        • I do, and I’m right. The question would be, where do you fit in here, DJ? …and do you know where you’re heading yet?

          • I’m merely exercising my right to have an opinion, and old enough to not need affirmation from you nor your peer group … both of them.

  • ‘Alaskans realize we need a balanced fiscal plan’ He is absolutely correct. We need to rein in spending. I think that was the message we sent to Juneau.

    • Anybody on this forum remember Anchorage Mayor Tom Fink? In the late 80’s, during a significant state and city-wide financial bust due to oil price collapse, the Anchorage municipal workers took pay freezes, cuts in hours, significant layoffs, and underwent major department reorganization’s, etc. Who in this current State administration and Legislature is qualified, up to the task, and has the stones to negotiate collaboratively with the unions and take meaningful actions for the State? Are they too occupied with crap like wolf whistle comments, suggestive clothing, and feigned outrage? Gimme a break! We have our state to save here! Stop the shenanigans!

      • The Barbies need to step up to the plate or move aside.

      • I recall Tom Fink and how his leadership kept Anchorage afloat during the financial crisis. Where is that leadership today?

        • He had a strong staff of management analysts, budget officers, department heads, and many well-educated and talented people in the organization at that time. I’m sure most, if not all them, have passed away or retired long ago.

          • Oh, so he ran the city based on facts and financial professionals rather than fairy dust and fantasies? What a concept!

  • We wouldn’t need a new take if you reduced the pork paid to all the nonprofits. But a new tax bill doesn’t surprise me coming from a Begich.

  • We don’t have a fiscal cliff, we have legislators who don’t know how to cut a budget. We have a legislature that won’t step on the toes of big unions. Pull your head out and cut the budget!!!

  • If it passes I won’t pay it!

    • IDK if its avoidable they steal it straight outa your check the way the feds steal it straight outa your check

  • Let’s see. The Permanent Fund earned $10.4 Billion in the first seven months of this year. Sweeps of unused capital in agency accounts amount to $7.1 billion. Covid brought us $6.3 billion in federal relief funds and oil is bringing in about the same next year.

    Some ignore all this financial capability in search of an income tax. Reading the actual financial statements of the State of Alaska would overcome the charade of “we’re broke”. Instead, let’s follow the Governor’s lead to constitutionally protect the Permanent Fund and the dividend and put in a spending cap that works.

    • Ummm, there are only 2 months so far in this year. Of course you are probably counting the market recovery from the Covid crash which is highly misleading.

      Where do you get the figure of $7.1 Billion of unused capital in agency accounts? Are you counting funds that have been appropriated but not yet spent?

      Of course I agree we don’t need an income tax. And the first step towards a balanced budget is to suspend the dividend not some malarkey about a constitutional amendment.

      • I’m honestly surprised that you don’t know what a fiscal year is Chris.

        • Of course I know what it is smarty pants. That’s not what he said. For your information we just went psst our eighth month in the fiscal year. I hope you don’t fall for his malarkey too.

          • Only a complete loser and financial imbecile would try and legislate an income tax during a pandemic recovery. What kind of dope is Begich on?

          • Only Dumb Democrats and their distant offspring, the RINOS, try instituting an income tax while the state is flush with a multi-billion dollar savings account and 30% of the residents are unemployed. Don’t these idiots take Junior High Economics anymore?

  • Ah Yes: The “Tax and Dividend Plan”. I thought the D’s had given up on that one but for a die-hard Socialist the goal of wealth redistribution never fades.
    “those who make their profit or their living here invest directly in the services we all use”.
    Or in other words: If you make a profit after taking a risk or dare to make a living from your human toil – you should pay a penalty so that the fruit of your labor can be indiscriminately passed out to everyone for no legitimate government purpose.

  • We don’t need a state income tax. We need you gluttons to back away from the buffet. Cut the size of government starting with the Legislature. If you don’t finish your work in the time allotted, you should be fined, not rewarded. Cut the fat from a state government with more employees per resident than any other state. Done!

  • We are only needing return to a state income tax because of poor government management and a resistance to maintaining a smaller government the last 30 years.
    If Alaska wasnt do dang corrupt and illiterate we wouldnt be facing losing the PFD, the Earnings fund, and a government heavily dependent on one revenue source.
    Doesn’t pay well keeping the children from 1989 to the present stupid does it!? Get rid of the Teachers unions while he is at it presenting a state income tax.

    • I’m sure teacher unions are among his biggest backers.

  • Tax the working class and give it to the democrats on the dole and your non working voters that support you. Better idea Tom cut your hair, like the actual working class adults do, and then cut the budget and give less money to the under worked overpaid state workers like you.

  • So take your money with the left hand, and hand out dividend money with the other left hand? Socialists have this Long March stuff down to an art, don’t they?

  • God forbid the bloated govt gets cut.

  • I’m not in favor of an income tax, but I am in favor of a payroll tax. If you
    don’t know the difference, look it up. It’s time for this state to get some
    money back from all the non-resident seasonal workers, tourism, fisheries,
    oil field, mining, etc.

    • I’m the other way around. If you buy it be it a Honda, rifle, fuel, plane ride to Hawaii, pay.

      • A state sales tax would just drive more Alaskans to Amazon Prime, hurting our retail sector even more.
        I would boycott Amazon, but I can’t afford to continue paying 1500 bucks for 500 dollar items.
        If a third of Alaska retail found greener pastures, the remainder could become more competitive. Maybe still slightly higher priced than Amazon, but not as insultingly as it currently is.

        • Last I checked (today) Amazon collects sales taxes for the 45 states that have them.

          For me, Amazon Prime is a source for products I need that are out of stock or no longer available here.

          FYI

  • Looks like a recall is in order… right now.
    .
    This lousy rotten excuse for a “senator” belongs nowhere near state government.
    .
    While the g-damned Alaska Municipal League has a $600M “Investment Pool” stashed safely out of taxpayers’ reach, for the specific purpose of “strengthening governments”, it seems reasonable to ask whether this lousy rotten excuse for a “senator” has completely lost what’s left of his mind.
    .
    While the current Alaska Lobbyist Directory has –387– line items of lobbyist hogs at the public trough, this lousy rotten excuse for a “senator” wants an income tax. (aws.state.ak.us/ApocReports/Lobbying/LobbyistDirectory.aspx)
    .
    While the damned state government unions have more direct control over the actual state budget than Alaska’s lobbyist-legislator team, this lousy rotten excuse for a “senator” wants an income tax.
    .
    While Alaska’s state and city government officials work overtime to wreck lives and livelihoods in the name of China flu hysteria, this lousy rotten excuse for a “senator” wants an income tax.
    .
    While Anchorage’s city government officials have worked exceptionally hard to wreck Anchorage lives and livelihoods in the name of China flu hysteria, this this lousy rotten excuse for a “senator” wants an income tax. Tom’s constituents elected him to do this?
    .
    What, the Senate now has an Office of Chief Fool, whose job is killing what’s left of Alaska’s economy, starting a 1980’s-style exodus… and a tax rebellion?
    .
    Bring it on, Tom. Go for the gold if you got a set, Tom… ten percent income tax, ten percent sales tax, all kinds of other taxes out there… get creative, Tom!
    .
    Tom, you could have been a hero… sponsoring a bill to repeal Alaska’s ranked-choice voting disaster in the making, but no… now it looks your species of politician will be the prime benficiary!
    .
    So, to Peoples Imperial State Senator Begich, may we offer humbly, lovingly, our best wishes for a happy, immediate retirement somewhere south of, but nowhere near, the state of Alaska.

  • When I see the closure of at least one of the major University campuses then we can talk. We have what, about 750,000 souls in this state? I really don’t believe 3 University Campuses are necessary. Nice, but not necessary. Again, we are more like Wyoming than New York or California. Show us some very large cuts first before any talk of taxation especially income tax. And maybe our federal reps need to advance Medicaid changes giving Alaska the ability to manage it’s own program cost effectively. I’m sorry but the people will have to say no even though there are those in political power who will force you to say yes and hand over your cash via the overwhelming power of the state.

    • U of A is a white elephant. Our students can get a better education for less in the S-48.
      Most of our graduates end up going South for work after graduation anyway, so where’s the benefit to Alaska? Federal funds?
      Federal funding is what got us into chasing our tails in the first place. Gotta spend money to get that money sure doesn’t appear sustainable.
      We could subsidize our college students at the best schools in the world, and still come out far ahead. Lots of our students would also be better off attending trade schools.

  • I am a UAA/Alaska State employee. And a state tax is needed to guarantee that my retirement package is paid for.

    • RD, your entitlement attitude is part of Alaska’s spending problem!!

      • I suspect that RD’s comment was sarc.

        • Nope, I do not want anyone taking my UAA/State benefits away, even if it means taxing the rest of you.

          • And you are going to be taxed on the benefits too. What’s your poison – sales tax for everyone or income tax for you who worked for your benefits while half the state gets a free ride on taxes? Do your homework.

          • Said with a straight face? As you ride in your Howdah basket?
            If someone starts an initiative to cut your pension in half, I will now gladly sign it.

    • A word on Detroit, their fiscal crisis, and their art collection. The Lanston Hughes Collection became a travelling collection so that the pensioners in Detroit would be paid. The same for the Tut Collection. The fact of the matter is we have needed and income tax for years. And, whether you are an attorney or a housewife, the amount will still be the same.

      • In 2006 when oil was high the legislature went on a binge that did not stop. Like junkies, they could not let go and strove to spread the addiction of free money to everyone in the state who would accept (and vote them back in). Now the money is gone and the choice is for those on the dole to go through withdrawal or for the remaining productive people to prop up the junkies. Life is cruel sometimes but you only break natural law for a short time until it returns to bite you. Perhaps all of those pensioners need to march on Washington to protest shutting down the productive in our state. And if we had continued the spending trajectory of 2005, it looks to me like our operating budget would be about 3 billion instead of approaching 7 billion and we would still have money in the bank to pay promised pensions. I would say that the unions supported the wrong party but both have been equally profligate.

  • Here we go again! Politicians don’t have the guts to cut the fat so push it all on us, and when so many of us are just struggling to survive. Politicians really are the scum of the earth.

  • These morons in Juneau refuse to cut the wasteful spending. They have raided the PFD and now want more money so they won’t have to do the hard thing and cut spending. The state needs to live within a budget that’s based on revenue.

  • Unbelievable. We don’t need a state income tax , don’t attempt to balance the budget off the back of hard working Alaskans because of fiscal ineptness & mismanagement because that’s what it amounts to, we’ve seen it year after year, The state is BLOATED!!!!! REDUCE GOVERNMENT!

  • If we weren’t in the tops of spending per capita, and a 5% income tax actually made a difference then we could have a conversation. As it stands the budget must be reduced first and until it reaches a level that matches our plentiful income. I would be ok with paying an income tax if needed when the state budget reaches a comfortable level of spending like what we had say a decade or so ago before the budget ballooned out of control.

  • There’s plenty to pay a full PFD and fund government if the government were right sized and the money flowing to large contracted players and non profits was shut down. Certain families in this state get very wealthy off those sorts of things, and imagine themselves quite Better than the rest of us, and quite a bit more powerful and so they send their kids to Juneau to become legislators to keep it going for them..and keep the rest of us serfs..

  • I’ll gladly pay taxes when we (State) don’t pay for our oil to leave our ground in their SB 21 plan.

  • Who would co-sponsor the legislation of an idiot? Tom Begich needs to depart the world of politics and go help his smarter brother, Nick, search for aliens on late night radio.

  • In late April 1977 after working a 99 hour week finishing up the Trans Alaska Pipeline my Pay Check amounted to $2,001 gross, after Federal and State deductions I received three bucks north of $900. I believe that the State charged 9% top rate at that time. Recall that social security withholding was miniscule then compared to now.
    I do not mind rendering unto Cesar what is Cesar’s, however Cesar hasn’t got a clue about what is essential for the public good and what is merely a jobs program for State Government Workers. It’s called accountability to those who you have the power to tax and or enslave. So, please Senator, with all due respect withdraw your bill, re-introduce it with stipulations of what programs will be axed, and where cuts will be made to others. Include language that protects essential services, ( we are talking snow plowing, roads, Troopers etc.) Also include a 20% cut in expenditures for the Legislative Body. If the Senator can do the above, I will be interested in his proposal.

  • All they’ve done since I was a little girl 40+ years ago is squander the wealth of the People and without our permission allow their friends to loot from the future and now they want what’s left of the blood in the turnip. I won’t perpetuate the fleecing of my children or yours, and instead of having the competence to live and practice fiscal responsibility and save, it’s gone and more is needed? These squanderers should be held liable. We need the conversation started on how they will be returning our money and not how they can get more.

  • Cut the budgets: Operating, Capital, legislative bodies and Mental Health by 20% each and then we can talk a flat rate income tax for all entities (private and corporate).

  • The state deficit problem is the result of welfare programs and largess paid to people that do nothing to contribute the the economy. Taxing the few of us still paying the bill to keep the economy rolling is criminal and patently unfair. I will not give up part of what I earn to give it to those that earn nothing.

    • And the people often hurt the most are often the recipients. There was a time in America when productivity was praised and sloth condemned. Today that concept is turned on its head. In too many places generations pass since someone earned their keep. Even Sponge Bob, who used to pride himself in his work, now lives only to act the fool to entertain gullible minds. Bill Clinton knew that unending dependency would lead to bad outcomes, but Obama reversed the lifetime limits on receipt and turbocharged the politics of envy.
      Benjamin Franklin states the harsh truth rather heartlessly: ‘ I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I travelled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer….The day you passed that act, you took away from before their eyes the greatest of all inducements to industry, frugality, and sobriety, by giving them a dependence on somewhat else than a careful accumulation during youth and health, for support in age or sickness. In short, you offered a premium for the encouragement of idleness, and you should not now wonder that it has had its effect in the increase of poverty.’
      And each of us has a duty to help our neighbors. It is an individual duty to help each other as human beings. That means paying a fair wage, providing food for those falling upon hard times, funding a charity to provide health care (Shriner’s, St Jude and many churches). But according to a Bishop who I once knew, it is as wrong to help those who will not help themselves as to not help those who cannot help themselves.

      • It is written in the Bible “No work, no eat.” paraphrased.

        • It is also written Thou shalt not steal, as in those capable of work shirking it while sharing in the fruits of others. One of my favorite people is a man in his 40s with Down Syndrome who stocked shelves at our local grocer. Sadly his health deteriorated, but he continued to work even while lugging an oxygen tank, up until his stamina gave out and he had to quit. He should be an inspiration to all.

          • I recently read about the guy who paid off a huge student loan within one year. He did it by taking any and every odd job he could find in town.

          • There’s very few jobs that I haven’t done in my life. I still spend too much time shoveling sh*t when I should make the kids do it.

  • Alaska does not have an income problem.
    .
    Alaska has a spending problem.

  • Only a racist would ask someone to “do the math”.

    • I’m an elderly mathematician. What does racism have to do with math? /sarc! Need I ask? Snort!

      • I’m with you here and, of course, it has nothing to do with math but likely has something to do with “fuzzy” thinking. Heheh!

      • The Oregon Department of Education (ODE) recently encouraged teachers to register for training that encourages “ethnomathematics” and argues, among other things, that White supremacy manifests itself in the focus on finding the right answer.

        An ODE newsletter sent last week advertises a Feb. 21 “Pathway to Math Equity Micro-Course,” which is designed for middle school teachers to make use of a toolkit for “dismantling racism in mathematics.”

        • Part of the toolkit includes a list of ways “white supremacy culture” allegedly “infiltrates math classrooms.” Those include “the focus is on getting the ‘right’ answer,” students being “required to ‘show their work,’” and other alleged manifestations.

          “The concept of mathematics being purely objective is unequivocally false, and teaching it is even much less so,” the document for the “Equitable Math” toolkit reads. “Upholding the idea that there are always right and wrong answers perpetuate objectivity as well as fear of open conflict.”

        • Like I mentioned, “fuzzy” thinking. Ed Psych has always had its goofballs but I suspect that much of your concern is due to taking a bunch of bull out of context. Just my opinion.

          • “Bull out of context”? That’s a good one he he. Do you want the link to the ODE website? In Oregon and Washington the “goofballs” are running the show. But hey, fuzzy math comes in handy when it’s other people’s money, he he.

  • Only a complete loser and financial imbecile would try and legislate an income tax during a pandemic recovery. What kind of dope is Begich on?

    • “Brawndo” (as in the movie “Idiocracy”). “It has electrolytes” – Snort!

  • Our population is so small compared to other states. They make it sound like a “small” tax would be the end all and we’ll all live happily ever after. Wrong, you’re reducing income of residents which results in less spending which reduces revenues. Remember, our petroleum prices are going to go through the roo., Before we raise taxes we may want to ask ourselves some questions. Such as what happens when…Gasoline is $5 per gal, diesel about the same, home heating oil $10 per gallon, we have no natural gas and any propane left will be about $20 per lb.

  • Thought u’all was woke- “A Pathway to Equitable Math Instruction is an integrated approach to mathematics that centers Black, Latinx, and Multilingual students in grades 6-8, addresses barriers to math equity, and aligns instruction to grade-level priority standards. The Pathway offers guidance and resources for educators to use now as they plan their curriculum, while also offering opportunities for ongoing self-reflection as they seek to develop an anti-racist math practice. The toolkit “strides” serve as multiple on-ramps for educators as they navigate the individual and collective journey from equity to anti-racism.

    • So “new math” is now “equitable math”. Let’s see now – in the not too distant future when parts, engines, and control surfaces regularly fall from airplanes, commercial and airline transport pilots are essentially video game computer operators, and fancy buildings and bridges collapse, we can all stand in a circle, wring our hands, sing kumbaya, and file lawsuits. Snort!

  • Cut social services 50% and then cut all social programs created during Bill Walker’s regime. There! Fixed it. We’re tired of spending our money for other people’s problems.

  • Quit supporting all non profits, churches, bush communities, oil company’s and any other handouts from the state. Cut the budget 50% and move the legislature to Anchorage and cut their budget by 50% (Juneau can still be the capitol) then well can start a discussion about taxes.

    • Mark, Do you live in Anchorage? AKA, “biggest” Village in Alaska. I would agree with moving the seat of State Government out of Juneau, if for no other reason than to liberate the citizens of that City from the disease of Government, however, what you fail to understand is that Anchorage is a hot bed of Leftist Bolschevik style government. I would never want that oppressive taint upon my State Leaders.

      • I still advocate for putting the legislature on one of the ferries, starting the legislature in Ketchikan and ending in Nome or Barrow (Utqiaġvik) as the ice permits.

  • I’ll consider paying an income tax AFTER the state legislature cuts its budget and ends their per diem.

  • Well since we are in a cancel culture. I declare that a state income tax is racist. No Dr Seuss, no taxes. Green eggs and ham, yum.

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