Archive for the ‘Fiscal Policy’ Category

Why I Voted Against the Anchorage School District Budget

By Dave Donley, Anchorage School Board Member At the February 20 Anchorage School Board meeting, I voted against the proposed Anchorage School District FY19 operating budget and a new six-year capital plan. After four years of essentially flat funding and budget reductions, I agree with other board members...
March 8th, 2018 | Accountability, Education, Fiscal Policy, Recent News, teacher pay | Read More

Taking Money from Classrooms to Pay Bus Drivers

Every year we hear the same refrain from many school districts, “We need more funding or we will have to fire teachers.”  It would seem that Alaska’s funding of more than $20,000 per student (the second highest in the nation[1] would be adequate to ensure that we have enough classroom teachers...
March 1st, 2018 | Education, Fiscal Policy, Recent News | Read More

Will Alaska be Swallowed by Health Care Costs?

Some good questions were asked this week by state legislators about Alaska’s ballooning health care budget. On Wednesday, January 19 in the Senate Finance Committee meeting, Governor Walker’s Director of the Office of Management and Budget Pat Pitney presented the FY2019 Budget Overview. The budget...
January 19th, 2018 | Fiscal Policy, Health Care, Medicare/Medicaid, Recent News | Read More

Alaska’s Budget Deficit: Have we really cut enough?

In a large statewide poll conducted by Hellenthal and Associates in the spring of 2017, Alaskan voters agreed with the following statement by a two-to-one margin: “The state budget needs to be drastically reduced.”  A December 2017 analysis from Key Policy Data (KPD) would seem to confirm that the...
January 7th, 2018 | Fiscal Policy, Policy, tax changes, Taxes | Read More

Bag the Bag Restrictions

The Mat-Su Borough Assembly has had discussions in recent months about instituting a tax on plastic “single use” shopping bags.  The tax would be applied to large retailers borough-wide. Proponents of the tax have cited environmental concerns. But there is plenty of evidence that plastic...
December 7th, 2017 | Recent News, Taxes | Read More

Property Taxes on What’s Not There

Can you imagine having your property burned to rubble but still being expected to pay full property taxes? That’s the reality for one Alaska couple, Ron & Jane Hunt in Fairbanks. It seems that government always tries to find a way to stick it to taxpayers. We commend Assemblymen Roberts &...
December 4th, 2017 | Recent News, Taxes | Read More

Another New Tax Proposed for Alaskans

The administration of Alaska Governor Walker is scrounging for every dollar it can get from the populace. His latest move is to duplicate registration that is already achieved by the federal government by taxing private airplanes in Alaska again.  Our federal taxpayer dollars already fund the Federal...
December 3rd, 2017 | Fiscal Policy, Recent News, Taxes | Read More

More Taxes Will Discourage Investment

We are happy to see the distinguished think tank R Street Institute recently weigh in on Alaska.  We agree with their conclusion that, “more taxes will only discourage the investment and growth Alaska needs so badly. The state, with an annual payroll of $1.4 billion, can also do more to tighten...
November 15th, 2017 | Fiscal Policy, Recent News, Resource Development, Taxes | Read More

New taxes for Anchorage

KTUU reports that the Anchorage Assembly has passed a new gasoline tax. Our assembly members have apparently expressed intent to lower property taxes commensurate with the amount of the new gasoline tax.  How long will that last? When was the last time taxes were lowered and stayed at the lower level?   The...
November 8th, 2017 | Recent News, Taxes | Read More

Leading Tax Experts to Alaska Legislature: Whatever You Tax, You Get Less Of

The Tax Foundation, the nation’s leading independent tax policy nonprofit organization has published their take on the governor’s tax proposal. Highlights: “When Alaska’s legislature convenes in the year’s fourth special session on Monday, the Last Frontier State will test the frontiers...
October 24th, 2017 | Fiscal Policy, Recent News, Taxes | Read More

AK Capital Budget & Non-Mission Critical Items

The Alaska Policy Forum has been a very active partner with many others in holding the State Of Alaska accountable for wasteful spending.  This partnership, Mission Critical Alaska, has evaluated every department in the state government and identified the mission critical spending and non-mission critical...
July 27th, 2017 | Fiscal Policy | Read More

Tax Thee, Not Me

During the current legislative session, Representative Seaton (R, Homer) introduced an income tax bill (HB115) that passed the House but got little traction in the Senate.  Apparently, Representative Seaton believes that the state bureaucracy cannot be slimmed down and that Alaska is not spending enough...
June 26th, 2017 | Fiscal Policy, Recent News | Read More

Ordinary Alaskan Citizens Challenge Legislators with Specific Budget Cuts

It’s time ordinary Alaskans had a voice in setting the economic priorities of the State Of Alaska.  United For Liberty-Alaska is an all- volunteer group of Alaskans who have no special interest group or paid lobbyists speaking for them.  Legislators have heard from special interests/lobbyists during...
November 14th, 2016 | Fiscal Policy, Recent News | Read More

Alaska Pension Obligation Bond Commission Increases State Debt by $3.15 Billion

In case you missed it, Governor Walker’s men just voted to sell bonds to finance the PERS/TRS liability payments.  We missed it too!  We tried to listen in to the meeting held Sept 26 at 2:00pm but were unable to find a teleconference number to call.  Here is the posting of the public record...
October 11th, 2016 | Fiscal Policy, Recent News | Read More

Audio: The Failed Experiment of Pension Bonding

In 2008, the Alaska Legislature passed House Bill 13, which authorized the selling of bonds (debt) for investment to fill the $10 billion pension gap in PERS/TRS. But Steve Malanga from the Manhattan Institute says pension bonding is an idea that has been attempted in other states with some terrible...
September 20th, 2016 | Fiscal Policy, Recent News | Read More

Governor Walker’s Law Department Gives a Pass to Alaska Lead on Gas line

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August 23rd, 2016 | Fiscal Policy, Recent News | Read More