JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Alaska Gov. Bill Walker is proposing a budget plan aimed at reinvigorating the state’s economy that he hopes will win over legislators following drawn-out sessions marred by political gridlock.
Central to that plan is a payroll tax that would help pay for deferred maintenance and community infrastructure projects. The administration says this would help put Alaskans to work.
Walker previously proposed a similar tax to help address Alaska’s budget deficit. It ran into resistance from lawmakers, particularly in the Republican-led Senate.
Walker says the tax this time will be geared toward a specific purpose. He says it won’t grow government and would end after three years.
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Walker is also proposing bonds to help pay off outstanding oil and gas tax credits.
And he wants to focus resources on public safety.