To the editor: The Alaska I moved to 22 years ago was a caring place of community. People helped each other and didn’t ask first about political or personal beliefs. Those things mattered less than caring for and serving our fellow Alaskans.
I care enough to serve my state because it has been a great place for work and raising a family. I am happy to pay taxes to contribute to a stable state economic future and to do my part to maintain a great place and community.
We need financial stability beyond oil tax revenue to build and maintain a strong, safe, healthy community that also provides adequately for the constitutionally mandated K through university educational system. We need stability so that there are opportunities for good jobs for Alaska residents. Oil tax revenue will never provide anything stable, so continually cutting the budget to match oil revenues is just not a sound financial plan.
Even though a modest income tax may not completely fill the gap immediately, it’s a start.
The thing that is doing great harm to our great state is not the idea of a reasonable income or sales tax, or even a reduced PFD, it is a selfish attitude and lack of empathy. It is embodied by sentiments like “I want my full PFD and I don’t care who gets hurt in the process.” I know there are a number of Alaskans who already donate part or all of their PFD each year to help others (as I do), so, the response of “Well, just donate your PFD” rings hollow to those of us who already do that.
This is why we need to remind our legislators right now about how damaging the governor’s vetoes will be if they are not overridden. Our community should not be all about selfishness. It should be about pitching in and working together to help build and maintain this state as a great place to live and work.