News from the Alaska State Legislature, the Office of Senator Bishop
For Immediate Release: February 11, 2019
Bishop introduces bill to re-establish education head tax
With many in Juneau anticipating budget cuts Wednesday from the governor, a legislator has introduced a bill to establish a $30 education head tax to help raise money for school construction and maintenance.
Senator Click Bishop, a Fairbanks Republican, says the need for new revenues to fund Alaska’s schools is as important today as it’s always been. “We need to talk about that,” he said.
Bishop last year helped establish a new Permanent Fund Dividend Education Raffle that Alaskans may participate in when filling out applications for this year’s dividend. “The education raffle is designed to help put additional money in the classroom,” Bishop said. “The education head tax is aimed at getting money for brick-and-mortar schools that house our students. Currently, we need $112 million in deferred maintenance and $190 million for construction.”
From 1919 to 1980, Alaska had an annual employment head tax for the purpose of collecting revenues to fund schools. The tax went through numerous transformations, but it always charged an equal amount to each employed individual. When it was repealed in 1980, the tax was $10 per person which has the equivalent value of $30 today.
Senate Bill 50 proposes to revive the repealed head tax on employed individuals, both residents and nonresidents. It would collect $30 from each person employed in the state, including nonresidents. The tax would be withheld from an employee’s first paycheck each year. The tax is deductible from an individual’s federal income tax return.
According to the most recent statistics from the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development and the U.S. Census Bureau, the state has approximately 441,596 employed individuals. More than 20 percent of them were nonresidents, resulting in $2.5 billion leaving Alaska’s economy each year and, in most cases, being taxed by a nonresident’s home state.
Bishop’s education head tax is estimated to bring in $13 million a year. The revenue collected would be deposited into the state’s general fund and accounted for separately to pay for the growing maintenance and construction needs of Alaska’s schools.
News & Videos more >
JUNEAU – Anchorage Senator Chris Birch passed away on Wednesday. He was 68 years old.
JUNEAU – The Alaska Senate today voted to restore funding for programs critical to Alaskans and provide for a sustainable Permanent Fund dividend amount.
Today, Governor Mike Dunleavy amended his call for the Second Special Session to include the unfinished capital budget appropriations bill and to change the session location from...
This week, the clock ran out on the Alaska Legislature's constitutional opportunity to reject Gov. Mike Dunleavy's $444 million in budget vetoes through an override vote supported by...
Joint floor session scheduled for 11:30a.m. in the Alaska State Capitol
ANCHORAGE – Senate President Cathy Giessel, R-Anchorage, today released the following statement on Governor Mike Dunleavy’s announced vetoes to the state’s operating budget....
JUNEAU – The Alaska Legislature announced today it will convene in Juneau on July 8th for the 2nd special session, with the majority of meetings to be held in Anchorage....
JUNEAU – Senate President Cathy Giessel, R-Anchorage, today released the following statement on the conclusion of the first special session of the 31st Alaska Legislature....
JUNEAU – With about three weeks remaining in the 2019 fiscal year, the Dunleavy administration this week distributed a one-time $20 million grant appropriated last year by the Alaska...
Find your Senator full map
- Chugiak/Peters Creek
- Eagle River
- Jewel Lake, Kincaid, Turnagain, Lake Hood, Sand Lake, Spenard, Dimond, Campbell Lake
- Midtown, Dimond, Huffman, Klatt, Southport, Bayshore, Oceanview
- Huffman, O'Malley, Abbott, Loop, Independence Park, East Dowling
- Northeast Anchorage, Anchorage Hillside, Indian, Bird, Girdwood and Portage
- Downtown, Airport Heights, Fairview, Government Hill, Mountain View, Russian Jack, South Addition
- Spenard, Midtown, UMed
- Muldoon, JBER, College Gate, Nunaka Valley, Wonder Park
- Palmer, Butte, Eklutna, Fairview, Lazy Mountain Knik, Gateway
- Wasilla, Meadow Lakes, Knik Big Lake, Point MacKenzie, Goose Bay, North Fairview
- Mat-Su, Delta Junction, Valdez, Copper River Valley, Talkeetna, Valdez
- North Pole, Farmers Loop
- UAF & University West, Chena Ridge, Kenny Lake, Tok, Copper Center & Tanana
- Adak, Bethel, Cold Bay, Cantwell, King Cove, Nenana, Hooper Bay, Sand Point & Unalaska
- Barrow, Nome, Kotzebue, Northeast + Northwest Alaska