By Rep. Dan Ortiz
March 22, 2021
When asked about the Permanent Fund Dividend, most people prefer a limited dividend approach. 42% of people prefer to “pay out the same amount this year as last year” and 25% said “suspend dividends until the State can afford them.” On the other end of the dividend spectrum, 17% said they would like to the state “pay Alaskans the full dividend from the past three years” and 16%, the least common answer, prefer to “use the statutory formula to pay next year’s dividend.”
In regard to revenue from our largest asset - the earnings from the Permanent Fund - the majority of people at 55% want to protect the Permanent Fund earnings by “following the existing payout formula,” instead of the option of taking an additional 0.5%, 1%, or 1.5% of earnings.
Most people prefer increasing resource taxes over personal taxes. 54% of people prefer no income tax instead of the options of a flat or progressive tax, and 47% prefer no sales tax. 70% of people want to increase oil production taxes, 62% want to increase mining license taxes, and 58% want to increase fuel taxes. However, people in District 36 do not want to see commercial fisheries taxes increase.
In terms of spending, across the board, people answered that departments should “maintain spending,” except for preferred cuts in the Legislature and the Governor’s office. Of note, 47% also requested that the ferry system transition to a more self-sustaining structure.
Based on the 276 people who responded to the survey, I am hearing: no additional cuts to the budget, increase taxes on our resources but don’t institute any new taxes on ‘me,’ and make up the deficit with a lean dividend. If you have not chosen to respond to the survey, but would like to now, you may do so by visiting www.akbudget.com. If you have any additional input, please contact my office anytime at 907-465-3824 or email me at Rep.Dan.Ortiz@AKLeg.gov.
Rep. Dan Ortiz
Received March 16, 2021 - Published March 22, 2021
E-mail your letters
& opinions to email@example.com
Published letters become the property of SitNews.