|Protecting Your Rights: Serving Sand Lake, Spenard, and Turnagain|
|March 3, 2017
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Constituent surveys and emails show that education is a top priority and the West Anchorage community supports a strong public school system. Our founders recognized that providing public education is one of government’s essential duties. Last week, I introduced House Bill 146, a school tax proposal that helps address Alaska’s fiscal challenges and supports our public schools.
School Tax Proposal
This session, we need to make tough choices and formulate a responsible action plan for Alaska’s financial challenges. Recognizing these challenges, I introduced HB 146 as an alternative to a proposed income tax. Article VII, Section 1 of the Alaska Constitution requires the Alaska Legislature to “establish and maintain a system of public schools” in Alaska. The School Tax in HB 146 works by taxing adjusted gross income on federal tax returns for every person who earns income in Alaska. All Alaskans and out-of-state residents who work in Alaska would help solve our financial challenges. The minimum tax would be $100 a year. The tax increases on a graduated scale based on income. Those making between $50,000 and $75,000 a year would pay a school tax of $750. The revenue collected from the school tax would be designated to support public education in Alaska. Taxpayers can deduct the school tax from federal income taxes and the bill includes a provision allowing use of future Permanent Fund Dividends to pay the school tax.
You can find out more by watching the KTVA report here.
Anchorage Caucus & Constituent Meeting – Thank You!
Thank you so much for coming out to voice your thoughts and concerns at our Anchorage Caucus meeting as well as our constituent meeting at West High.
Bills Passing the House
The house has passed several pieces of legislation this session. Two weeks ago, I carried the 2017 Revisor’s Bill (HB 77), on the floor. The bill corrects and removes deficiencies, conflicts, or obsolete provisions in our statutes. HB 77 makes numerous improvements and “clean-ups,” and I thank Legal Services for all of their hard work revising our state statues. The bill passed 40-0.
Earlier this week, I carried the bill repealing the civil settlements reporting requirement. The bill (HB 104) eliminates the reporting of information about civil case settlements currently required by law. The bill follows the advice of the Alaska Judicial Council, which recommended that the legislature eliminate this requirement because the requirement is outdated and has already served its original function. The bill passed 40-0.
As always, please let us know if you have any question or concerns.
Rep. Matt Claman
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