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Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

The Ortiz Citizen budget poll

By A. M. Johnson


March 22, 2016
Tuesday PM

An open letter to Representative Dan Ortiz regarding his survey inquiry in today's mail on how to address the budget shortfall.

Only cut, Only fine new revenue or Both: equals the fantasy development of a new IRS tax program that would allow submitting one s income tax on a post card. Sounds good were all the side bar items eliminated. Here is a similar simplistic response to these choices.

When the last number as a total budget figure is decided, seek out the year of State budgets that reflects that number (close). That then is the budget year you will divide by departments THAT EXISTED AT THAT POINT IN EXISTENCE. In other words, any activity (Department) that was developed or came into existence after that budget year would suffer the ultimate cut- it goes out of existence.

The departments that were in existence before and at the budget year the number represents, receives the same amount of allocation that department received in the year being used. How the departments utilize the funds is up to the department. Simplistic? Yep, as the three choices reflect.

Now as to the revenue options.

Income tax: About one half of the state population pays Federal income tax. (You can argue this point?) Which would then mean that those of us who do pay income tax would contribute the amount the state decides and that money will go to general government WHICH FUNDS THE OTHER 50% THAT DON T PAY ANYTHING for a mired of reasons, Mostly it relates to Mail Box Money folks who have chosen life style off the grid or subsistence that do not contribute to the economy of the state.(Education is a prime example)

How do you address this imbalance?

Sales Tax? They hue and cry over sales tax is the imbalance of those stated above who have chosen to live off the grid or subsistence and live off of Mail Box Money will pay huge amounts of sales tax for expensive products in addition to transportation.
How do you address this imbalance?

Increasing the tax on alcohol and tobacco is a natural go to social taxable choice. Do what you wish,

Health/Social Services. The response to this segment falls into the above opinion on where these health and social groups fit or that they existed in or before the reflective corresponding budget year THE BUDGET YEAR THE NUMBERS OF THIS YEAR REFLECT TO HISTORICAL YEARS.

Motor fuel tax. You are going to raise this no matter the public reaction. it is a no brainer, much like the booze and smokes

State-wide sales tax. See above.

Increase tax on mining companies, To nothing more that corporate tax structure currently in effect for all corporations. If you want to raise taxes on mining, then raise the tax equally to ALL CORPORATIONS in a equal boost.

State income tax: see above.

Oil companies tax credits: The legislature and the industry have mucked this subject to the point the average citizen has no idea of the content. The legislature will do what it wants,however if the end result (greed?) is unfavorable to industry, which we need, I d be very careful.

Cuts: I reference you back to my simplistic solution above. When you the legislature start addressing each segment or department based on perceived needs, the waters become very muddy. However, if my simplistic solution is too unpalatable, then cut each and every one of the categories equally percentage wise. ( THE MANAGEMENT SEGMENT OF THESE DEPARTMENTS, COMMISSIONER, DEPUTY COMMISSIONERS, DIRECTORS, ASST. DIRECTORS AND ON AND ON, should be reflected in reductions. (Now do you see the worth of just assigning a corresponding past years budget that reflects the dollars available for this year and let the departments decide?)

Representative Ortiz, Solomon decision responsibility and balance has to be apparent, no one emotional segment over the other. That will be my byword in watching the process going forward. I do not envy the legislature's task.


Ketchikan, Alaska

Received March 22, 2016 - Published March 22, 2016




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