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Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

Say what... Byron "unhinged" perhaps?

By Trevor Shaw


October 24, 2017
Tuesday PM

Before I get started, although I serve as the President of the Ketchikan School Board, I am speaking on behalf of myself as a private citizen and not as a representative of the Ketchikan School District.

Now, with that out of the way, I want to start by saying that I understand the general direction that the Lt. Governor is coming from. We do need a fiscal solution for our state. That said, I don't agree whatsoever with his rhetoric or ideological approach. His thought process of needing a new broad-based tax or "Alaska will become a colony" is severely misguided and nothing short of fear mongering.

How about the fact that Alaska is already basically a colony of the United States federal government because of our state government's acquiescence or undue restraint. The Walker Administration, and many administrations before his, have taken a subdued approach to advocating for our state's sovereign rights; especially as it relates to land jurisdiction and resource development. However, that's a whole other story of its own.

With regard to the state budget crisis, the Walker Administration is taking a very detrimental approach. Most of their "solutions" that they promote will just expand the problem, and worsen the recession. The Walker Administration has been working to enact a new broad-based tax that will generate $600 million... from 337,800 working Alaskans. That's an average of $1,776.20 per person, and $3,552.40 per couple.

I know many young Alaskan couples, working to build a career and family, that couldn't afford to pay anywhere near that much in new taxes. The same thing applies to retired seniors, as well as the lower middle-class in general. But the same hold true overall: The productive, producing, middle-class workers and small business owners of Alaska will feel the bulk of the overwhelming pain from this intrusive, overreaching tax. This group of Alaskans just so happens to be the driving-force of our State's economy.

We all know there are so many things that can, and need to be done to solve the fiscal gap. It won't be simple, and it won't be easy. However, we have to do what is right and what is best for our State. So before the Walker Administration taxes working-class Alaskans to death, I'm one of those people who believes the State Government needs to be "right-sized". There are efficiencies, as well as productivity enhancements and standards that need to be implemented. There are priorities that need to be realigned. There are middle-management positions that need to be reevaluated. There are existing taxes that need to be redesigned to ensure fairness and equality among all Alaskans, such as the Required Local Contribution (RLC) for Education Funding.

These are just some things that can be done. New taxes must be the last resort. All other options are on the table, and must receive thorough consideration and review. That hasn't happened yet. Until then, as the saying goes: "Read my lips, no new taxes".

Trevor Shaw
Ketchikan, Alaska


Received October 24, 2017 - Published October 24, 2017

Editor's Note:

The text of this letter was NOT edited by the SitNews Editor.

Related Viewpoint:

letter If We Are To Succeed As A State, Alaska Can Never Go Back By Lt. Governor Byron Mallott


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