Senate Affirms Fiscal Solution Tomorrow
JUNEAU – Alaskans concerned about the state’s deep deficit and the prospect of a new income tax can join members of the Alaska Senate for a presentation of the Senate Majority’s fiscal solution at 9 am tomorrow, April 28, in Juneau.
The Senate Finance Committee will hold a special hearing to review the Senate’s fiscal solution, including a thorough vetting of the plan by the independent, nonpartisan Legislative Finance Division. The public is welcome to attend in Juneau, and can watch live online at akl.tv.
“We want Alaskans to understand why the Senate supports a no-new-taxes solution to our fiscal problems,” said Sen. Anna MacKinnon (R-Eagle River) co-chair of the Senate Finance Committee. “We’ll vet our solution against a variety of assumptions, stress-testing it for the future and also for how well it protects our Permanent Fund.”
Despite significant budget reductions over the last four years, the state faces a $2.8 billion deficit this fiscal year. While the House, governor, and Senate agree the solution must include responsible use of Permanent Fund earnings to help pay for government and dividends, there is a difference in how to fill the remainder of the gap.
The Senate proposes capping government spending at today’s levels, and drawing from the Constitutional Budget Reserve to cover the deficit – without depleting those reserves. The House and governor do not support a spending limit to prevent government from growing, and want to implement a substantial new income tax on Alaska’s wage earners, businesses and retirees to supply government with more money.