Letters to the Editor

Posted: Friday, May 31, 2002

Republican Senate deserves praise for stopping income tax, fund raid

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Alaska leads all states in per capita government spending at $9,904. Yet the Knowles-Ulmer administration and liberal press wanted to add a new state income tax this past year that would have additionally cost middle class families $800 to $1,500 annually.

The GOP state Senate and Rep. Mike Chenault, R-Nikiski, stood in the gap to stop the income tax and raid on our permanent fund dividend checks.

A special thanks should go to Sen. Jerry Ward and other senators who led the fight to get $2 million additional funds for the Kenai Peninsula Borough schools. The Knowles-Ulmer administration wanted big increases for the rural schools, despite many of them being funded at the top in our country. Schools like Kivalina and Barrow get around $25,000 per student compared to the Kenai Peninsula Borough rate of $7,300 per student and national average of about $5,000 per student. Hopefully this additional money will be used for classroom instruction and not for new administration.

Our schools need a new focus and that may come in the next governor. Frank Murkowski has always been an advocate for education and will appoint professional educators to run the Department of Education. His gubernatorial opponent Fran Ulmer broke two campaign finance laws already this year, although she is an election supervisor.

I'll take integrity over deceit anytime.

Donald Szepanski, Retired teacher Soldotna

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