Rep. Tarr’s Newsletter: TOMORROW is constituent meeting & budget update

Tarr's Times

Mahatma Gandhi’s words have resonated strongly with me this past week while defending the budgets of Alaska’s education and public welfare systems. Now is not the time to reduce the level of services we offer students, or lose teachers due to pink slips as the result of delayed school budgets. Nor is it the time to require an ever-shrinking police force to handle ever-increasing cases with diminished resources.

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Rep. Tarr’s Newsletter: Support Your Alaska Grown Roots

Perhaps it’s locally grown barley flour pancakes for breakfast with farm raised chicken eggs scrambled on the side, fresh garden-greens salad for lunch, or wild harvested salmon for dinner. Alaska’s long growing season, coupled with hard working farmers and fishermen, means our state can offer your appetite an array of choices locally grown from farm or sea to plate.

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Rep. Tarr’s Newsletter: 8 Budget Meetings, 1 Budget Survey, and Working Towards a Fiscal Plan

Tarr's Times

I just want to take a moment to review where we’ve been and where we are now regarding the budget and a fiscal plan. The conversation about the budget and how to get our fiscal house in order is not new. I held my first community meeting in the Fall of 2015 because I knew then we needed to take action. I was pleased with the large crowd in attendance because that told me you all cared and knew we had to take action too. We had Bob Loeffler of ISER bring the Budget Balancing Game and we spent time trying to figure out how to balance the budget ourselves. Options ranged from just using the Permanent Fund to statewide taxes like sales and income taxes or more cuts. The game demonstrated the challenge of finding the right solution.

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Rep. Tarr’s Newsletter: Carrying Alaska North to the Future

Tarr's Times

Right now, the oil industry is required to pay a minimum tax rate of 4% for every barrel they pump out of Alaska, and this 4% is not a fixed rate. Corporations can apply subsidies and concessions to reduce the cost of doing business in Alaska, and that minimum 4% tax rate? It’s flexible. In addition to this flexible minimum tax, our current oil and gas tax system has overly generous subsidies that have become unsustainable. The intention was to offer economic incentives to small oil companies as a way to encourage oil production because the Big Three aren’t doing as much exploration and development work and production is down.

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Rep. Tarr’s Newsletter: Rep. Tarr Helps Develop National Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders Tool Kit

Tarr's Times

As the purse strings of Alaska become ever tighter, the heart strings of our community- and compassion for others- need to strengthen. There are Alaskans who struggle within themselves in ways we cannot fully understand. Sometimes their struggle is apparent. For others, it’s unseen. But how we can fully relate is as a neighbor, and as someone who cares about the wellbeing of all Alaskans.

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