Begich: Oct. special session 'total waste of time'
Former U.S. Senator Mark Begich is critical of Gov. Bill Walker's call for a special session on new revenue next month. Walker is asking state lawmakers to consider a 1.5 percent, capped income tax on people who work in Alaska.
"I think this October special session's a lot of show and tell and no action. I think this is a total waste of time and energy," said Begich, in an interview at the Bartlett Club's luncheon Thursday.
Begich blasted Walker's proposal for being too regressive.
"It's only taxing wages, that means people that are working every single day and trying to make a living, they're the ones that are going to be pinned," said Begich. "When you look at what's exempted: capital gains, dividends, basically for wealthier people, and I think that that's an unfair tax system. I can't wait to see the debate because I don't think that's going anywhere."
So far, Walker's tax hasn't garnered support within the legislature, from either end of the political spectrum.
Begich has been elusive about whether he will run for governor in the 2018 election.
Governor Walker's office sent KTVA the following statement:
Governor Walker called the legislature back to Juneau to complete unfinished business. We must fix our economy and address public safety. Alaska needs revenue to pay for prosecutors, troopers and teachers. Alaskans deserve to have a stable economy and peace of mind that they will be safe in their homes.