Micciche said if a sustainable plan isn’t found this year and the Constitutional Budget Reserve is drained, there will have to be draconian cuts and taxes which are implemented in a hurry, without the careful approach that could be taken in advance this year if lawmakers can come to agreement. The Kenai Peninsula Republican will be Senate Majority Leader this year, the first time he’s been in an official leadership position. Micciche asked audience members to reach out to other lawmakers, saying we are heading into a serious recession and the uncertainty in the state legislature is going to have a more adverse impact on the state’s economy than the black and white fiscal numbers. He applauded the state’s 44% reduction in spending, but said the numbers have been “invisible to the press,”and not commonly talked about in the public. This year, 704 Kenai Peninsula residents took part in a poll Micciche circulated, overall responding that there should be some use of the Permanent Fund’s earnings. Respondents also overwhelmingly preferred a sales tax to an income tax. FacebookTwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Giving the evening keynote address at the Industry Outlook Forum in Kenai, State Senator Peter Micciche put the state’s finances into the perspective of a family household budget. Micciche said while he was Mayor of Soldotna, property taxes were cut three times until city residents were paying less than surrounding areas. He used the anecdote to tell the Forum he doesn’t like raising taxes, but with Alaskans paying the lowest state taxes of any of the 50 states, it isn’t sustainable to continue without some form of new revenue. Using figures that he and State Budget Director Pat Pitney have both shared with various audiences, Micciche said the state is in the position of a family which had its income cut from $80,000 a year to $16,000 a year and sliced expenses from $80,000 a year to $44,000. The gap is currently being covered by a savings account, but there’s only one year’s worth of funding left in that account. The problematic question for Alaskans is whether or not to use the interest earned on a long-term savings account, in this scenario that account has $500,000 in it. Micciche said in reality, that fund would be equivalent to the Alaska Permanent Fund.
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