ITA Re-prints Reader
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.
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
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.
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.