Alaska Governor Choses Income over Sales Tax
- Dec 18, 2015 | Gail Cole
Alaska Governor Bill Walker has unveiled his plan to revamp the state budget. It includes income tax, not a statewide sales tax.
Gov. Walker told the press that his administration seriously considered a statewide sales tax but decided against it because most municipalities in Alaska already impose local sales tax. He said a state sales tax would “be challenging for those towns,” particularly in rural areas. The cost of goods is already higher in rural communities, since it costs more to get them there.
Yet many Alaskans have expressed concerns about an income tax. In the village of Nunapitchuk, where $200 buys two bags of groceries, the manager of the General Store says that “people in her town could not support the additional financial burden of an income tax.”
New taxes tend to be unpopular, no matter what they are or where they’re imposed. But the state of Alaska needs more revenue. For his part, Gov. Walker says his administration will support a sales tax if that’s what goes through. “We’re fine with that as long as we get to the same end journey of having a sustainable budget going forward and stop this unsustainable deficit spending we’re in right now.” He stressed that the budget proposal is "a work in progress."
Learn more about Gov. Walker’s 2017 budget legislation.