Absence proposal rubs reader the wrong way

Posted: Friday, April 28, 2006

Is there any wonder what is going on with the call to reduce allowable absences from the borough from 185 to 90 days in order to qualify for the senior or disabled vet tax exempt program? The two assembly members who support this reduced limit are obviously not retired nor spend much time Outside in the winter, which is the Alaska dream.

As a 68-year-old Alaska resident of 22 years who meets both senior and disabled veteran qualification criteria, I currently enjoy the tax exempt status on my home as was intended when the program was implemented. I also can no longer tolerate cold weather like I used to and must seek a warmer clime when winter sets in. As anyone who has lived here for any time knows, winter certainly lasts longer then 90 days.

Who is kidding whom? Reducing the allowable absences from a maximum of 185 days (as it is now) to 90 days is just another way of reducing the roles of qualified participants to make up the “budget shortfall.” And this at a time when this state is enjoying the largest financial windfall in oil revenue in its history, but taxpayers must buckle under and fill in the gap at the working level. What’s with this? Why not get the governor to share?

I for one cannot spend more time in my home than I now do. The message this 90-day absence proposal sends to us retirees is, “We don’t care if you are retired or disabled. You are getting over on the rest of us and if you don’t stay home more we are going to disqualify you for the tax exempt program entirely.” I cry “foul!”

Dean Knox


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