Older custom license plates decorate the wall at the Department of Motor Vehicles in Juneau in this March 2015 photo. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Older custom license plates decorate the wall at the Department of Motor Vehicles in Juneau in this March 2015 photo. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Opinion: Instead of donations, what would be so bad about taxing Alaskans?

It’s come to this in Alaska. A state agency is asking for public donations to do its job.

I don’t blame the Division of Motor Vehicles or its parent agency, the Department of Administration. Both are trying to help rural Alaskans get their federally required Real ID cards before the October 2020 deadline. Good for them, and smart to trade in their old equipment for a mobile machine capable of creating the new cards.

But to take that machine and the staffer to do the work to rural communities, the division is asking for donations of $60,000 to cover the unbudgeted travel costs.

The lack of sufficient revenues to provide responsible and reasonable public services statewide has brought state agencies to ask for donations. What’s next, a bake sale to buy new tires for state trooper cars? A garage sale to cover the cost of travel for public health nurses? Raffle tickets to keep the ferry system afloat?

Instead of state public services having to rely on the kindness and generosity of individual Alaskans, what would be so awful about taxing all Alaskans? Don’t like that? Then run the state on bake sales and raffles, and give charities the power of taxation. I’m sure they’d make the trade.

Larry Persily,

Anchorage


• Columns, My Turns and Letters to the Editor represent the view of the author, not the view of the Juneau Empire.


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