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Letters to the Editor

Letter: Budget solutions

  • Author: Jerry Smetzer
    | Opinion
  • Updated: July 30
  • Published July 30

Congratulations to the pro-democracy Alaska legislators in the House and Senate on the passage, finally, of Senate Bill 2002. This is a small but necessary step forward in preventing the further destruction of the state of Alaska’s governing process by the massive cuts to operating and capital budgets. The next step means it is time for Gov. Mike Dunleavy to start acting like a real governor of a real sovereign state of the U.S. that is working with a real constitution.

If Gov. Dunleavy had no problem with the University of Alaska declaring “financial exigency” as a result of his cuts, both actual and proposed, then he should have no problem approaching those companies doing oil exploration who have some claim on Alaska’s tax rebate program and asking each of them for a reduction in their claim by the same percentage amount. If he can get the industry to reduce their claims without triggering all kinds of creative lawsuits filed by industrial and political interests to tangle up and delay the legal process, he will have a shot at being thought of by people like me as a real governor.

The amount of state funds that could then become available for both a full Permanent Fund dividend and a functioning state government means he won’t have to continue fighting off the imposition of a a state income tax, which is the only other way to have both.

— Jerry Smetzer

Juneau

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