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ITA Re-prints Reader Responses

Ed. Note: The following letters are but two in the continued debate over whether or not Alaskans pay taxes. We thought the points brought out in Ms Gorman's letter were worth repeating, but in the interests of fairness, we present the letter she is answering, as well. Mr. Cleary's letter is included in our Humor section.

In a letter dated April 28, Ms Stephanie Lakin replied to Mr. Cleary in a Letter to the Editor. The text of this letter is re-printed below, followed by an answer from Diane Gorman, which appeared in the May 7 edition of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. Emphasis in red is ours.

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State pay

April 28, 1997

To the editor:

I am writing this letter in response to M. Cleary's letter who commented on the "unbelievably tacky propaganda ad encouraging us to call our legislators and asking them to pay our state bureaucrats more than they already get." I am one of those state workers, and while thankful for my job, I am hardly rolling in money. My husband and I both work, we have two children and we budget for everything we get.

I had to laugh when he "explained" to the little boy that he pays my salary. Just exactly how does Mr. Cleary pay that salary? Is there some special personal income tax assessed only to him? Does he own an interest in Arco, BP or Alyeska? Or does he donate money to the state to pay our wages out of the goodness of his heart? I would love to know. On the other hand, state employees spend most of their income in their communities so we actually help pay Mr. Cleary's salary (if he's employed).

Enough already, isn't it time for this us-against-them to stop? We are all Alaskans trying to make ends meet. Mr. Cleary hasn't walked a day in my shoes - I wouldn't presume to say that he is overpaid until I had at least done that - I would like the same consideration.

Stephanie Lakin
North Pole

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Salary source

May 5, 1997

To the editor:

Awhile ago, a Mr. Cleary wrote a letter in which he correctly complained about the ad showing a little boy beg for his state-employed mother.

This apparently disturbed Ms Stephanie Lakin, a state-employed mother, who wrote a response in which she makes an incredible claim.

She said that she "would love to know: how Mr. Cleary pays her salary, as there is no state income tax. Oh, please.

Ms. (sic) Lakin, you may not be aware of this, but funding for our state government is not provided by the Alaskan Funding Fairy. People must earn money first, then it must be taken from them, usually against their will, to pay our salary. Maybe that's O.K., maybe it's not, but that is the way it is.

Specifically, Mr. Cleary, and the rest of us, pay federal income tax. Did not Alaska receive so much aid from the feds, we would all pay less.

Oil companies are charged for the privilege of producing oil. We all pay at the pump and we pay in lost jobs because the oil companies are then deprived of investment capital to create new wells and refineries.

Fees for registration, driver's licenses, work permits, corporation permits, use fees, etc. Unfunded mandates galore. Or your unconstitutionally shoving the funding of schools on the local governments. Hunting fees, and concealed carry fees, even though these are called "rights." And much more.

Yes, Ms. (sic) Lakin, your salary is paid quite extensively by Mr. Cleary, and you have some nerve in forgetting it, As for your contemptible claim that you pay Mr. Cleary's salary through your local purchases - wrong! You do so only in the way that the man who mugs him might shop at his store the next day. You give a little back, that's all.

Finally, if you wish the "us versus them" to cease, that's easy. Stop exploiting children for pay raises, and quit moaning when you're caught at it.

Diane Gorman

North Pole

Ed. Note: For more thoughts on the many taxes Alaskan's pay, go to Taxes in Alaska.

ITA disclaimer: Editorials by various authors in our guest section have been reprinted for your information and entertainment. The authors are not necessarily members, nor do they necessarily agree with the philosophy, aims, or endorsements of the Interior Taxpayers' Association.

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Donna Gilbert, President  ITA Phone (907) 456-8031.
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