Friday, September 12, 2008

Sarah Palin Fan of Regresive Taxes & Earmarks

During Sarah Palin's first term as governor she was able cut property taxes by 75% and to eliminate personal property and business inventory taxes partly because before she became mayor of Wasllia, AK a 2% sales taxes was initiated and partly because of her efforts to eliminate libraries and museums.

The sales tax seems fairly small and innocuous but 20% of the municipalities in Alaska have no sales tax whatsoever. Plus a sales tax is an extremely regressive tax. It seems cruel to get rid of taxes that are less costly to the poor in favor of a sales tax. Then to add insult to injury during her second term as mayor, Palin introduced a ballot measure proposing the construction of a municipal sports center to be financed by a 0.5% sales tax increase. So not only does she nearly eliminate the less regressive taxes on her citizens but she also raises the sales tax 25%.

After firing the museum commissioner and nearly firing the cities librarian (to save money and for political reasons) she hired the Anchorage-based lobbying firm of Robertson, Monagle & Eastaugh to lobby for earmarks for Wasilla.

Robertson, Monagle & Eastaugh secured nearly $27 million in earmarked funds. The earmarks included oddly enough$15 million for a rail project linking Wasilla and the ski resort community of Girdwood. To me this seems like welfare for the rich though maybe a lot of poor people in Wasila are commuters to Girwood. I have no hard information which is the case but since the two cities are about 80 miles apart either seems plausible but neither seems like a great reason to spend $15 million