Reader presents conditions under which he would give up dividend

Posted: Tuesday, February 10, 2004

I read the governor's insert, "Securing Alaska's Future," and the article in an Anchorage newspaper, "Future of Fund is Now," and studied the graphs and charts.

So here's the deal: I'm willing to give up permanent fund dividends forever and bear the personal and small business ramifications, but only under these conditions:

1. The constitutional amendment that allows the permanent fund earnings to be tapped to fund essential state services shall also specify that there will never be state personal income tax for Alaskans.

2. Property taxes and assessments which they are based upon (currently the major source of funding for local governments) shall be capped at a combined mill rate of 12.0 and residential property assessments limited to an increase of no more than 1 percent per year, except when a property is sold and reassessed to current fair market value.

3. Combined total local and state sales taxes shall not exceed a rate of 6 percent.

4. The state and local governments of Alaska shall learn to live within these funding means, with annual balanced budgets.

I'm tired of taxes and fees at all levels and I don't want to "invest" in hare-brained projects like a bridge across Knik Arm, Cordova bridge repair or a natural gas pipeline. Otherwise, I (and most other Alaskans) will "Just Say No" when the issue of tapping the permanent fund is placed before the voters.

Walter H. Ward


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