We are coming down to the wire on the budget, and your testimony is needed before the Labor and Commerce Committee tonight.
HB 115, the Education Funding Act, is an important part of the State House plan to stabilize our budget and ensure adequate funding for services.
Instructions for in-person, phone, and write-in testimony, plus talking points, below.
The official title of HB 115 says it all:
“An Act bearing the short title of the ‘Education Funding Act’; relating to the taxation of income of individuals, partners, shareholders in S corporations, trusts, and estates; relating to a payment against the individual income tax from the permanent fund dividend disbursement; and repealing tax credits applied against the tax on individuals under the Alaska Net Income Tax Act.”
From the Alaska Democratic Party:
[P]ublic testimony is open for an important hearing on HB 115 [today], Tuesday 4/25 starting at 5:00pm. You can call in or appear in person at your region’s LIO, or you can write an email in support to firstname.lastname@example.org. [Edited to reflect publication date. Mary]
Suggested talking points (also from ADP):
- HB 115 income tax exempts roughly the first $15,000 of income from each Alaskan. It also exempts an additional $4,000 per dependent and allows you to exempt each dependent’s PFD. So, a family of four would not have taxes owed on their first $42,100 of income.
- The average Alaskan will pay roughly 2% of their income under this tax, reducing the impact on the most vulnerable in our society.
- Under this tax, Alaskans will still have the lowest overall tax rate among the 50 states, and will also capture revenue from out-of-state workers (about 20% of our workforce).
- It’s a direct alternative to the Senate Republican Majority’s proposal to cut $750 million from the annual state budget over the next three years. Satisfying those cuts would require well over half a billion dollars beyond the already devastating cuts of $69 million from K-12 education and $22 million from the University proposed by the Senate this year.
- Without this tax, education will continue to be targeted by lawmakers to fill a budget gap our children and young adults played no part in creating. Schools are not bloated government; they are the foundation of a great state and deserve to be supported as such.