SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska



I Hate Taxes
By Samuel Bergeron


July 19, 2006

Here in Ketchikan we pay 6% sales tax on just about everything except healthcare. This includes residential rent and food. This tax is applied regardless of your ability to pay. The net result is that it takes food and shelter away from people who can least afford it.

The high sales tax rate, as well as the ever increasing property tax rate, is partially due to the ever-decreasing revenues from the State of Alaska to Municipalities and Boroughs. The City and Borough used to rely heavily on the State for revenues much larger than they now enjoy. Along with the decreasing revenues comes the ever-increasing tax burden paid by those of us who live and pay taxes here in Ketchikan and elsewhere in the State.

Some of us have concluded that the State of Alaska needs to get its fair share of the oil revenues that all of the people of Alaska own. The halls of the legislature are filled with millionaire oil lobbyists and you can be assured the oil companies' interests are being met and then some. Case in point is the economic limit factor or ELF. It was meant for the first two years of oil production to stimulate investment and open new oil fields. It has now been in place for over 25 years solely from efforts of their lobbyists. It's a fact that there are oil fields in production that pay zero royalties to the State because of ELF. I cannot reconcile having large multi-national oil companies removing oil that all the people of Alaska own for nothing.

I don't claim to be expert in the intricacies of oil taxation that governments should charge producers. But from what I'm able to glean from the news of record high earnings for the oil companies and other experts, is that we are being short-changed. With the Governor's approval rating at an all time low, he is trying to cut a deal with the producers that by some accounts, is one of the biggest government giveaways in history. The Governor and the legislature have a fiduciary responsibility to all Alaskans that we get our fair share. That's all I'm asking.

If Alaskan's get there fair share, we will benefit with lower taxes and a thriving economy, if we don't we will be making up the difference with more taxes and far less robust economy of tax payers working to support a government that gave its only non-renewable resource away for far less than what it was worth.

Samuel Bergeron
Ketchikan, AK - USA

About: "I'm a life-long Alaskan who loves Alaska and the people who call this place home."


Related Viewpoint:

letter Tax and Spend - Why does government think they are entitled? By Marvin Seibert - CO - USA




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Ketchikan, Alaska