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Old 04-04-2017, 10:58 AM
 
Location: Kenai Peninsula, AK
6,483 posts, read 12,663,139 times
Reputation: 2715

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Quote:
As far as an educated population, Alaska has always struggled because of a lack of a diversified economy. Just go on to Alaska jobs at any given time and you will see VERY few jobs for highly educated people. A lot of people come up for a job but once displaced from said job there is usually no where to jump except out of state unless you have the means/personal safety net to hang out here comfortably for YEARS before you can land another highly educated position.
I dunno about that. My position will be advertised and requires a college degree and prefers a master's degree. It also requires a high degree of specific technical competence as well as project management, budgeting, and political savvy skills. A good friend of mine who works in GIS for the borough also recently left and the advertising on that vacant position just closed. I just heard yesterday that a tech/science position at a local environmental watchdog group is becoming vacant in the next few weeks.

There may be a smaller gross quantity of open positions but Alaska always has some degree of opportunity for folks who want it. One issue is that for those of us without a reason to live here, Alaska living can become difficult. I can make a higher salary in Washington State and have approximately the same cost of living and somewhat better weather. I can funnel some of my extra savings into a trip to Alaska, Colorado or Montana every 1-2 years and get many of the same outdoor experiences within driving distance of my new gig.

As far as taxes go, all taxes are punitive according to your outlook (government is evil). My outlook is that taxes are a modern form of tithing - we all contribute to benefit from services. To that end, income taxes (if structured correctly) are much less punitive on the average working class family than sales taxes. I'm sure you're familiar with the regressive nature of sales taxes so I won't bore you with that here. But the simple fact is that folks in Anchorage have paid neither sales NOR income tax for many years. That's clearly an unsustainable way to provide roads, emergency services, schools, and maintenance, especially when those same folks elect politicians who are afraid to actually either 1) socialize the fossil fuel assets of Alaska or 2) clearly negotiate a fair return from the private companies extracting this state's assets.

I am a budget minimizer so I also understand the concept that sales taxes let you control how much tax you pay by spending less. That's why personally I am a fan of a diversified tax base but politically it is difficult to sell both an income and sales tax even if both are at 4%.

Last edited by jabogitlu; 04-04-2017 at 11:13 AM..
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Old 04-04-2017, 11:16 AM
 
18,547 posts, read 23,326,914 times
Reputation: 9946
As a business owner in what could be called rural Alaska (although I think it's pretty different from the interior bush), I benefit from decent schools. Many of our employees are those who've just graduated or college kids needing summer jobs. Businesses like mine don't exist in the interior villages, to the best of my knowledge, but I'd still rather my tax money were invested in people in all parts of the state instead of just handed over to Anchorage (my business tax bill would keep you in beer and pizza for quite some time, Pitts).
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Old 04-04-2017, 01:39 PM
 
Location: Anchorage
24 posts, read 7,473 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jabogitlu View Post
But the simple fact is that folks in Anchorage have paid neither sales NOR income tax for many years. That's clearly an unsustainable way to provide roads, emergency services, schools, and maintenance, especially when those same folks elect politicians who are afraid to actually either 1) socialize the fossil fuel assets of Alaska or 2) clearly negotiate a fair return from the private companies extracting this state's assets.
You are leaving out property tax. My wife and I have paid a heck of a lot in property tax on our house in Anchorage over the years.


I'm in the "let's stop giving more money back to the oil companies then they pay in production taxes and use the PFD first" camp.
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Old 04-04-2017, 03:13 PM
 
1,359 posts, read 691,531 times
Reputation: 986
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metlakatla View Post
As a business owner in what could be called rural Alaska (although I think it's pretty different from the interior bush), I benefit from decent schools. Many of our employees are those who've just graduated or college kids needing summer jobs. Businesses like mine don't exist in the interior villages, to the best of my knowledge, but I'd still rather my tax money were invested in people in all parts of the state instead of just handed over to Anchorage (my business tax bill would keep you in beer and pizza for quite some time, Pitts).
I can't rep you. But I agree with you 100% MET!
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Old 04-04-2017, 04:00 PM
 
Location: Kenai Peninsula, AK
6,483 posts, read 12,663,139 times
Reputation: 2715
Quote:
Originally Posted by Northrick View Post
You are leaving out property tax. My wife and I have paid a heck of a lot in property tax on our house in Anchorage over the years.


I'm in the "let's stop giving more money back to the oil companies then they pay in production taxes and use the PFD first" camp.
Fair point. Property tax is pretty low here where I live, and the government I work for derives about 10% of its income from property taxes, so I tend to overlook those.
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