Most oppose taxes, support resource development

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) A survey conducted by the Alaska Chamber of Commerce found most Alaskans oppose any form of new taxes.

    The Chamber polled 809 Alaskan likely voters with 41 percent of them in Anchorage, 24 percent in South Central, and 13 percent in southeast.

    The survey found 38 percent of Alaskans felt very good or good about the economy, and 61 percent felt pretty bad about the state of the economy.  28 percent felt the state was headed in teh right direction and 66 percent were opposed.  34 percent of those polled in Southeast felt the state was headed in the right direction.

    The survey also found 92 percent had a favorable opinion of tourism, 84 percent for commercial fishing, 76 percent for oil and gas, 75 percent for Alaska Native Corporations, 68 percent for timber, 63 percent for mining and 57 percent for health care.

    The survey also showed that 72 percent support cuts to state spending including 62 percent in southeast.  78-percet were supportive of a spending cap on state government, 71 percent in southeast.  77 percent supported medicaid work requirements with 66 percent in support in southeast.

    The survey also found 66 percent an increase in taxes on alcohol and cigarettes with 67 percent in favor in southeast.  That was where the tax support ended.  48 percent supported a state sales tax with 41 percent in southeast, 43 percent supported some use of permanent fund earnings if they were guaranteed an annual dividend of $1,200.  56 percent of southeast Alaskans surveyed supported the PFD earnings and guaranteed dividend.

    38 percent supported an increase in gas taxes, 43 percent in southeast, and 35 percent the Governor's proposed 1.5 percent payroll tax.  35 percent supported a state sales tax, with 41 percent in support in southeast.  68 percent of those polled, supported exploration and production in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge, and 67 percent supported Alaska arctic offshore exploration.

    Executive Director of the Alaska Chamber of Commerce Curtis Thayer presented the survey results at today's Greater Juneau Chamber of Commerce weekly business round table luncheon.

    He said the chamber has advocated for workers compensation reform, are opposed to the Stand for Salmon initiative and advocate the state legislature cut spending and adopt a fiscal plan.  Another priority is a health authority to cut on the costs of health care for state employees.

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