Our fellow Alaskans,
As our leaders deliberate in Juneau, the goal that all Alaskans share – finding a long-term solution to our state’s fiscal crisis – has not yet been achieved.
Rasmuson Foundation has spent the last 12 months listening to Alaskans from across our great state. Today, 72 percent of Alaskans think the state’s economy is not in good shape, and only 17 percent of Alaskans think it will get better in the coming year. In numerous public forums, you have told us that what you want more than anything else is economic stability – your families and businesses cannot live under this cloud of uncertainty for another year or two. Most of you — Republicans, Democrats, and independents, rural and urban residents — support a broad-based state budget that includes significant spending cuts, new taxes and use of Alaska’s Permanent Fund earnings reserve, even if it means a smaller dividend next year.
A stable fiscal future can only be achieved through active public participation and debate. The people of Alaska have held up their end of the bargain.
Now it’s time for our leaders to act.
Alaskans want and expect the Governor and Legislature to find a solution during this special session, because they understand that the hard choices we are facing today are preferable to the harder choices that will come if we do nothing.
The late Senator Ted Stevens said it best,
“To hell with politics, just do what’s right for Alaska.”
For more information please visit: www.Plan4Alaska.com
Posted by Dick Curran
Using interest from the PFD is the only solution to our budget problem. Do it now! Before we have no PFD.
Posted by Christoperher Irvin
I agree on taxes — but let’s also address the issue of the ridiculously low taxes on other mineral extraction. Donlin, Pebble, and the other mining operations should be paying the state a fair royalty — just as we expect the oil industry to do. Let’s end the free ride for these exploitative industries that imperial our fishing industry.
Posted by Julia Gray
Thank you for this! Our state budget should be independent of something as fluctuating as the price of oil. Taxes, to me, are the only way to stabilize our budget and hold state officials accountable. We can plan for a future for our state and not exhaust emergency funds. I think we should pay a state income tax and keep the PFD as is. Ted Stevens is rolling in his grave. Our oil-only insistence has created a stalemate so long and far-reaching it’s time to roll with the changes.
Posted by Michael Halko
Time to compromise and make a decision for all. Passing it on to the next session is cowardly. This is not the time for half measures. Get the job done or resign.
Posted by Phil Raymond
I am not willing to accept higher taxes and a smaller dividend. I am, however, willing to live with smaller, less intrusive government. This always seems to be a challenge, but government needs to regulate itself, rather than imposing itself on the citizenry. So, start cutting programs that aren’t absolutely necessary because if we can’t pay for what we need, we certainly can’t afford to pay for things we merely want.
Posted by Jeanne
I agree with the Rasmussen statement. AK has had a free ride and that ride has come to an end. Alaskans need to be realistic about the future and taxes are a part of that reality
Posted by Joyce Bergmann
Thank you for posting this information about the last year of research. Yes, We do need to pass bills this special session that will take care of our deficit and balance the budget.
I am willing to receive less of a permanent fund dividend to ensure that in the future my children and grandchildren will also receive one.