Two days after Gov. Bill Walker called for the biggest changes in Alaska’s tax system in 35 years, the representative association for the state’s small businesses released the results from its annual survey of its members.
“All of us appreciate and sympathize with the enormous task the governor has with balancing the state’s books,” said Denny DeWitt, Alaska state director for the National Federation of Independent Business.
“What our ballot results hope to do is contribute to the debate by offering the opinions of those most affected by the final decision: The small-business owners of Alaska, who, unlike big companies and corporations, cannot absorb and spread increased costs over a wide pool of customers and clients. NFIB members fail to see how the proposal to move $200 million out of the private sector through a personal income tax in order to prop up state spending protects or enhances the viability of Alaska’s fragile economy. Rather than expanding economic activity, it appears only to give government more control over an individual’s personal resources.”
The 2016 ballot asked five questions:
Should Alaska reinstitute a personal income tax?
Yes—19 percent No—74 percent Und.—7 percent
Should Alaska establish a statewide sales tax?
Yes—20 percent No—60 percent Und.—20 percent
Should Alaska use investment earnings of the Permanent Fund to fund state government?
Yes—44 percent No—47 percent Und.—9 percent