Alaska budget battle begins

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) Several bills have been filed that are aimed at tackling the state budget crisis.

    Republican Senator Bert Stedman from Sitka introduced a bill that would enshrine a dividend from the Alaska Permanent Fund into the state constitution.   The Governor has proposed a 1.5 percent head tax to help the fiscal situation.  The fund's principal is constitutionally protected but the dividend is not.

    Republican Senator Kevin Meyer filed a bill that would ask for voter approval of any broad-based income or statewide sales tax.  There were some legal issues involved in this bill and Meyer is likely to revise the bill to ask the public vote to be advisory and not binding.

    The Governor said he would use the revenue from the new head tax to pay for deferred maintenance and community infrastructure projects in the state.  He said the tax would last only three years.


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