Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Alaska Budget Crisis - Head Tax

There's so much to write about, but not nearly as much time to do sufficient research to say something  that adds meaningfully to what others have already said.  So I'm going to keep this really focused.

Senator Click Bishop has introduced SB12 which establishes a head tax.  I had some questions about how that would work and contacted my Senator, Berta Gardner.  So I can say something with a bit of authority on this.

We used to have a head tax - I remember it being minimal, like $10 from everyone's first paycheck of the year.  But if 200,000 people got at least one paycheck a year (our population was much lower then) it would still amount to $2 million.   Sen. Bishop's bill would have several levels based on income, so it would be somewhat progressive.

However, it's only for people on a payroll.  So people with other kinds of income - pensions, rental properties, investment income, etc.  would not have to pay.  That seems blatantly unfair and why a graduated income tax is a better option.  Though I'd vote for the simplest-to-calculate income tax possible - like a percent of the federal taxes.  Minimum wage workers shouldn't have to pay if people with much larger, but unearned, incomes don't.

The one benefit of this tax is that it does include non-residents who work in Alaska.

Senator Gardner also wrote it could be part of the compromise package  if the Senate ever agrees to any new revenue.  She also said there haven't been any hearings on the bill.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments will be reviewed, not for content (except ads), but for style. Comments with personal insults, rambling tirades, and significant repetition will be deleted. Ads disguised as comments, unless closely related to the post and of value to readers (my call) will be deleted. Click here to learn to put links in your comment.