SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska



Keep Aid to Municipal Governments Limited to Basics
by Rep. Vic Kohring


March 21, 2006
Tuesday PM

The question has risen once again. Should the legislature reinstate municipal revenue sharing? I support doing so provisionally, subject to municipalities using it only to augment efforts to pay for basic government services.

We must reform our system in a way that takes less from those that produce our state's wealth so that greater economic growth is encouraged. Our Founding Fathers knew the power to tax is the power to destroy, and therefore established a restricted government that performed limited functions.

Much of today's taxation and social spending does not reflect a free society of people governing themselves. Heavily taxing businesses and individuals and then spreading around that wealth is not conducive to a healthy economy, nor should such distribution be the role of government. Many of government's current functions used to be performed successfully by the private sector in the form of charity, the voluntary giving to the poor. It would be best to leave most of it in private, voluntary hands.

The same concept of limited government should apply to municipalities. The past has shown that funds from revenue sharing were frequently spent on frivolities, a flower garden here, an arts subsidy there, important things to many, but not government's responsibility. Previous revenue sharing opened the portals to inappropriately spending our state's hard earned wealth on such non-essential functions.

If revenue sharing must be done, then let it be restricted to basic government services. I have drafted legislation to accomplish this, that puts in place sideboards, limiting state money to roads, police and fire protection. The bill is available for consideration by my colleagues if their intent is to fund revenue sharing again this year.

State government has grown too big, too intrusive, and always present in our lives. If we are to fund municipal revenue sharing, then let's keep it limited to the basics.

About: Rep. Vic Kohring (R) is a member of the 24th Alaska State Legislature repesenting District 14 - Wasilla. He has lived in Alaska for 43 years.


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Ketchikan, Alaska