State Fiscal Crisis

 

If you read the news you are probably aware that Alaska is facing a fiscal crisis; if you don’t read the news LISTEN UP!  YOU AND YOUR FAMILY WILL BE AFFECTED BY THE DECISIONS MADE IN JUNEAU THIS YEAR!

 

The State government funds health, behavioral health, education, public safety, elder services, transportation, energy exploration and so much more.  Historically we’d pay for State government from oil revenue.  Because of the low price of oil, state revenue is down more than 80% from four years ago.  Lawmakers have cut the budget to below $4.5 billion, half of what was being spent in 2013-this means significant programs and infrastructure have already been cut. 

 

Currently, the state is not making enough revenue to pay for state government-we need to come up with about $3.5 billion a year.  If we don’t fix this now we will use up all of our savings and possibly never have a dividend again. 

 

Leaders suggest many different options to balance the state's budget, including PFD reorganization, income tax, sales tax, fuel tax and reduction of government services. It is important to understand that there is not one single solution to our budget problem-getting to $3.5 billion a year will not be easy.    

 

Low-income Alaskans will be disproportionately impacted by a reduction in the PFD and reductions in state services.  Rural residents will pay more money in sales tax than those living in urban areas because of the high cost of items in rural Alaska.  Studies show that sales tax is most felt by low income households over any other tax solution.   Fuel tax will impact non- Anchorage residents more than Anchorage residents because of increased transportation costs.  There are non-resident high-income earners that currently do not contribute to Alaska, but they would if an income tax is implemented. 



There is a lot of resources going into campaigns to protect the wealthy.  TCC wants to ensure other Alaskans don’t bear the burden of the state’s fiscal crisis. 

 

Please help us send a message to Juneau about how we should fix this budget crisis! 

* 1. 1. Lawmakers have reduced government spending by 4 Billion dollars over 4 years.  In your opinion, is current state spending too high, about right or too low?

* 2. Do you support using a portion of the earnings from the Permanent Fund for general public services?

* 3. Since the amount of sales tax paid depends on the price of goods being purchased, rural Alaskans who face higher prices than in urban areas would ultimately shoulder a disproportionate share of a statewide sales tax. For example, a $5 gallon of laundry detergent in Fairbanks taxed at 7% would cost the consumer 35 cents; the same gallon of detergent that costs $9 in Galena would cost the consumer 63 cents.  Knowing that do you support or oppose enacting a statewide sales tax?

* 4. Four out of five Alaskans would pay less under an income tax than they would under a general sales tax.  Knowing that, do you support or oppose enacting a statewide income tax?

* 5. Currently, Alaska pays more money out to oil and gas companies in the form of tax credits, than it will receive in royalties.  Do you support reforming the terms of Alaska's oil tax credit system?

* 6. Where do you live?

* 7. Would you like to be entered to win $200 worth of fuel?

* 8. The budget gap is so large that to achieve a balance Alaska will be required to enact SEVERAL different types of cost-saving and revenue-generating measures.  Not any one of these things will bring about long term fiscal responsibility.  Please rank the options provided in order of how you would like the legislature to close our budget shortfall.

  1 2 3 4 5 6
Income Tax
Sales Tax
Oil and tax credit reform
Fuel Tax
PRF restructure
Further budget cuts to reduce state programs
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