The governor’s wage tax is not the worst idea
Governor Walker’s proposal to tax wages is a pretty simple idea on its face.
If you’ve got a job, you would pay 1.5 percent of your wages to the state. And you’d never pay more than twice the value of the dividend.
The average Alaskan worker making $50,000 a year would pay about $750 in taxes. Subtract that from your dividend, and the state is still paying you $350 to live here. Earn about $75,000 a year, and you’re basically giving your dividend back. Those Alaskans earning $150,000 or more would owe the maximum $2,200.
Retirement income isn’t taxed. The dividend itself isn’t taxed. Which means if you’re retired, or a kid, or not a working Alaskan, you pay no tax. That’s good news for big families and those who don’t work.
So, let's just call it what it is. It’s a progressive income tax in which wealthier Alaskans pay more than less wealthy Alaskans.
And, I’m okay with that.
For my family, my wife and I will give up our dividends to pay the tax, while my son will keep his. As a unit, the Tracy family still comes out ahead.
Chances are you’ve already done the math for yourself, and you might support or oppose the measure on how it impacts you.
Walker’s idea means some Alaskans keep their dividends while others give it back.
Is that fair? Probably not.
But at some point, we have got to get over the idea that state government is there to support us, instead of the other way around.
So, I can get behind the “wage” tax.
Alaska’s been very good to many of us, for a very long time.
The tax would raise a measly $300 million from out of state workers and Alaskans who can afford to pay it.
But don’t hold your breath that lawmakers will pass it.
The chances of that happening are equal to my son giving me some of his dividend after I give up mine.
John’s opinions are his own, and not necessarily those of Denali Media or its employees.