Which Will Cave Over State Income Tax, House or Senate?

Date: May 01, 2017

Related Content: News State Alaska State Budget

Both bodies at loggerheads over re-imposition of levy

NFIB/Alaska State Director Denny DeWitt reports from Juneau on the small-business agenda for the legislative week ending April 28.

The Legislature has slowed down to concentrate its energies on a fiscal plan for the state.

The Senate proposal calls for:

  • using part of the earnings reserve
  • establishing a spending limit
  • budget reductions 
  • and filling the gap from reserves.

The House is demanding:

  • an income tax
  • using the earnings reserve
  • and increasing taxes on the oil companies.

There has been little movement from either side as the session crawls toward adjournment.

Small Business Opposes State Income Tax

Mike Miller, vice-chairman of the NFIB/Alaska Leadership Council testified against House Bill 115, the proposed state income tax bill. He explained to the Senate Labor & Commerce Committee the narrow margins small businesses have, the disparity between big corporations and small businesses using the federal adjusted gross income for state tax purposes, and the problems with taking $680 million out of the private sector during an economic recession.

He also pointed out that calling an income tax a “school tax” does not change it from an income tax. The committee heard testimony from invited experts and citizens. The committee decided not to act on the bill. NFIB will keep a close eye on it and continue its strong opposition. NFIB’s opposition letter can be read here.

Permanent Fund Dividend-Funded Lottery

Senate Bill 78, the lottery allowing Alaskans to voluntarily use a part of the Permanent Fund Dividend to enter a lottery that would help support education, was heard in House Finance and held for further consideration.

Petty Theft Penalties

NFIB is asking the House State Affairs Committee to quickly pass Senate Bill 54. In a letter of support that NFIB has sent to Committee Chairman Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins, NFIB said the measure is urgently needed to correct “unintentional problems caused by the passage and interpretation of Senate Bill 91 passed by the legislature in 2016.”

The measure addresses penalties for 4th-degree theft, class A-Misdemeanors, and class C-Felonies. SB 54 would provide the criminal justice system the means to encourage violators to enter treatment to address the many issues driving them to violate our laws.”

This bill is critically important to retail members, according to NFIB/Alaska State Director Denny DeWitt, who has asked NFIB members to send an email to Kreiss-Tomkins encouraging his support for SB 54.

Previous Reports & Related News Releases

April 21 Report—One Adjournment Deadline Ignored. Will a Second Be?

April 14 Report—NFIB Victory: Independent Contractors Pulled out of State’s Crosshairs

April 7 Report—NFIB Forcing Legislature to Practice What it Preaches

March 31—NFIB Testifies in Favor of Tougher Petty Theft Penalties

March 24 Report—Hearings on a New State Income Tax Take Center Stage

March 17 Report—NFIB Victory: Deceptive Income Tax Proposal Put Aside

March 10 Report—NFIB, State Still Far Apart on Defining Independent Contractors

March 3 Report—NFIB to Fight Alaska bid to Spike UI Wages

February 24 Report—Gas Tax Increase, State Income Tax Bills Still Alive

February 17 Report—NFIB to Testify Against Assault on Independent Contractors

February 10 Report—NFIB Looking at Four Fixes to Omnibus Crime Bill

February 3 Report—Flaw in SB 91: What Penalty for Petty Theft?

January 27 Report—Independent Contractors Once Again in Crosshairs of Alaska Legislature

January 20 Report—Costly Bills Make Return Engagement in Juneau

January 5 News Release—Poll: Alaska Should Not Be in The Retirement Business

[Tile photo of Senate Finance Committee courtesy of The Alaska State Legislature website.]

Related Content: News | State | Alaska | State Budget

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“Our members are experiencing substantially more theft by the same people as a result of the lack of tools our police have to deal with petty theft.”

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