Unfortunately, this topic will be one of the most popular topics when the legislature reconvenes in January 2021. It will virtually be impossible to avoid the idea that legislators believe they need more money to fuel the government they have designed over the years. It is of no consequence that our economy will most likely be in a serious recession.
The first tax on the citizen will be the complete loss of the PFD distribution program. This coming payout of $1,000 may well be the last PFD ever paid. There are a multitude of legislators / supporters on both sides of the political spectrum who have very little
interest in continuing the PFD program. They would prefer the "peoples money" be "directed" instead of "scattered."
The next tax will be some form of statewide taxing formula. More than likely it will come in the form of a sales tax as the business lobby is live and well and it would be difficult to implement a statewide income tax. The problem implementing any taxes of this nature is that they must be at least 7% due to our low population and not very diverse economic infrastructure.
The third type of tax will be value added taxes such as increased gasoline tax or increased sin taxes on alcohol and cigarette consumption. We may see Senate President Cathy Giessel's favorite studded tire tax, or Senator Click Bishop's school head tax.
Trust me, when it comes to taxing the citizen of Alaska, I am certain many representatives of government will show substantial creativity as they create more schemes to bring revenues to sustain the government they grew, as they are completely convinced that every penny we presently spend is going for "essential services."
My position is simple. Alaskans need to be directly involved in this taxing conversation. This money belongs to Alaskans and without including them in the discussion it is robbery by committee and nothing more.