SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


By Robert McRoberts


December 31, 2006
Sunday PM

I should be doing something besides writing letters and complaining - but first I would like to hope Mary is doing good. Glad to see you're back. My best wishes in your new year. The SitNews site is great giving the people of Ketchikan a spot to let out their frustration of the way things have become - plus keeping us up on what's happening.

I started writing letters because I was frustrated about personal property taxes. I broke my fear over the years of speaking out and being heard. I have made a few people mad at me but most I come in contact like to read my letters - not always agreeing, but as some have said it means I care about things. Letter writing may have hurt my business - or it may of helped. I'm too busy to care.

Here's my thoughts on a few things: I can tell you about taxes. First you all wonder why the price of fuel is up. Well look at your receipts - notice how much is sales tax. Well sales tax is the item we spend almost as much money on as we do food. Gas is selling all over town and we're not going to stop driving and walk in the rain and they know it. The government is making money on it. You can bet they get a price break on what they buy and I bet they make more on the higher price than they're paying. Sure there's this thing called competition - big business trying to expand so they can stomp out the little guys. It's not what Wal-Mart did or is doing to all the other small guys. The power of money.

Now that I got that out, personal property tax is what bothers me the most about borough taxation. Most of you do not even know what this tax is. It's a tax on every one in business in the borough. I am sure it was created back when the pulp mill came to town. Maybe the tax man can fill us in on why and when it was created. This tax is on all your tools or machinery used in your business except for licensed vehicles. This tax is in no way fair. Say I have invested $200,000 in machinery and tools to make a living. At the end of the year my taxable income is $40,000, I then get hit with a tax of $2,000 for machinery i invested my money in, all in hopes that if I take care of it it's all I get for retirement except for other investments I'll need to make so I have something for when I can no longer work. Are you following me? Now someone else goes out and buys $200,000 worth of junk and goes out and does millions of dollars worth of work. He pays less because there's no value in the junk that he made money with. Or the carpenter that has a license and no machinery. I invest in nice newer machinery because I am not a mechanic and the local government can take from me. I collect sales taxes but it's not enough for the local government.

Well I am getting mad so I better quit. I have more to say about this. Maybe our governor can help me out and let us see the way to abolish this tax. I just got too wound up to finish what i want to say.

So Happy New Year to everyone who feels I am right on this issue.

Robert McRoberts
Ketchikan, AK

Received December 31, 2006 - Published December 31, 2006

About: Ketchikan business owner.



Note: Comments published on Viewpoints are the opinions of the writer
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sitnews.


Send A Letter -------Read Letters

E-mail the Editor at

Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska