Letters to the Editor

Letter: Bring back Alaska’s income tax

A “fair share” tax needs to be applied to the export of Alaska’s non-renewable resources and a progressive income tax returned to our population. Alaskans must not remain a resource extraction colony.

During the American Revolution of 1776, the cry “no taxation without representation” was critical, but what if the reverse is also true — “There is no representation without taxation.” A century ago, a progressive income tax was added to the U.S. Constitution. It was designed to tax only significant income and rise as a percentage of that income as it rose. In the 1950s, it approached 90% for the truly wealthy, and we had the greatest prosperity ever known.

Citizens and residents owe something for their own governance so that it can be effective and they can claim to be taxpayers. As a high school student working summers, it made me proud to pay the $10 Alaska school tax as well as the federal and state income taxes; it just seemed appropriate and fair, my small share.

Our Legislature has to deal with a budget, a growing deficit, yet legislators squabble over a Permanent Fund dividend. Taking on the constitutional duty of “laying and collecting taxes” is only to be avoided. Let’s suggest that 15% of any income tax raised be placed in the body of the Permanent Fund to make up for the excessive giveaways of the recent past.

— Thomas R. Wilson

Anchorage

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