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.


More in Opinion

Web
Have something to say?

Here’s how to add your voice to the conversation.

(Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Opinion: Playing the old-timer card

Is the Empire really only interested in the problems faced by small communities?

Heavy metals run out of the Tulsequah Chief mine opening and down to holding ponds next to the Tulsequah River Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2008. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file)
Opinion: Officials must keep up pressure to clean up BC mine

In March 2017 I had a Commentary published Pacific Fishing Magazine imploring… Continue reading

Former Gov. Bill Walker, right, and his running mate former commissioner of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development Heidi Drygas, speak to Juneauites gathered for a fundraiser at a private home in Juneau on Tuesday, June 7, 2022. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: Why I’m voting for Walker

Walker is the only candidate with the potential to govern effectively for all Alaskans.

t
Opinion: The time has come to end Big Tech’s rule

The internet has opened doors and pathways to more than we could… Continue reading

Nick Begich III campaign materials sit on tables ahead of a May 16 GOP debate held in Juneau. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: Nick Begich is who Alaska and America need now

It is in Alaska’s best interest to elect a member of the Republican party.

teaser
Opinion: If you see something, say something

Together we can fight to preserve this pristine place we live.

This photo shows the University of Alaska Southeast campus in Juneau. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: I’m a longtime educator, and I’m supporting Walker/Drygas

The issues our state faces are significant with regard to education.

t
Opinion: Congress could keep health insurance costs from rising, but it has to act fast

Some argue that the federal government paid out far too much money… Continue reading

Most Read