On Wednesday Rasmuson Foundation released research by the non-partisan Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy that was commissioned at the request of legislators, the administration and community leaders who asked for more data about how different revenue strategies would impact Alaskans.
The headline in the Alaska Dispatch News, “Governor’s budget plan would hurt low- and middle-income Alaskans, says new report,” may give the impression that Rasmuson Foundation is in disagreement of Governor Walker’s efforts to address the state budget gap. To the contrary, we applaud the Governor’s boldness in coming forward early on with a comprehensive budget plan that featured a combination of budget cuts, new revenues and using some reserves. We also applaud the legislature for making the budget the focus of their work in the last days of the session.
As a Foundation whose mission is to improve the quality of life in Alaskans, we hope the plan that is adopted is equitable in what it demands from Alaskans and puts the State on a path to long-term sustainability. According to this research, if only a portion of the Governor’s plan is adopted – budget cuts and Permanent Fund changes – without new revenues, the impact will fall mostly on middle-income working families and the poor, and barely, if at all, on the wealthy.
We offer this research in order to help answer important questions, not to support or oppose any specific plan or its author.