Tony Knowles on Tax Reform
2004 former Democratic Challenger for Senate (AK; previously served as Governor)
Sarah Palin now says she doesn’t feel comfortable with some aspects of the new law. She recently told tourism industry officials that if elected, she would work with them to “mitigate some of the impacts” of the law.
The new taxes and fees will generate at least $50 million a year in additional state revenue, according to recent estimates from the Alaska Department of Revenue. For the first time, the state also will put observers on cruise ships visiting Alaska to monitor the ships’ smokestack and wastewater emissions. And cruise lines will need to begin disclosing their sales commissions with on-shore vendors.
KNOWLES: Knowles said the gas line provisions were noncontroversial and were merely “parked” on the bill because it would become law. “That doesn’t address the merits of the jobs bill,” Knowles said. “It’s a $143 billion tax giveaway. That is a bill that, yes, I would not have supported.”
MURKOWSKI: “We got over $700 million worth of tax credits to whoever is going to build this line. If you don’t think that’s an incentive that gets people to look at the project, you need to look again.” Another provision offers an 80 percent loan guarantee from the federal government. Other language streamlines permitting and judicial reviews. “We made it happen and it’s news that all Alaskans should be celebrating,” she said. “It’s real results; it’s not just talking about it.”
KNOWLES: The best way to fix our budget problems is to create jobs. I support permanent tax cuts for most wage earners but would roll back cuts for the top 1% who average $1 million a year or more. This would generate $194.5 billion that should be invested in infrastructure, health care for seniors, children and veterans, and education.
MURKOWSKI: Federal tax cuts are a means to spur economic growth. I firmly believe individuals know how to better spend their money than the government does. This means more private investment instead of inefficient government-run programs. In the long run, that leads to greater prosperity and a reduced deficit for the nation as a whole.
We are writing to request equal treatment between states and the federal government on estate tax changes. Regardless of one’s view about phasing out the federal estate tax, the Governors are absolutely united in opposing any action that would discriminate against states in the phase-out of the state and federal estate taxes. This issue needs to be addressed before the Senate goes to conference with the House.
Governors believe that the ability of states to independently determine their own tax revenue policy is a basic tenet of federalism. Moreover, no federal tax bill should be enacted without close consultation with the states.
At the very least, there must be equity in the treatment of the state death tax credit in the tax bill the Congress considers with the proposed phase-out of the federal estate tax. Governors oppose provisions that impose disproportionate impacts on state revenue systems. The changes proposed by the Senate would have abrupt, significant adverse impacts on state revenues at a particularly onerous time for many states. The potential impact on states would begin next year and have a potential impact of between $50 and $100 billion over the next ten years.
We urge the leaders to respect those rights and to restore fairness.
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