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 When it was repealed in 1980, the tax was $10 per person which has the equivalent value of $30 today.
Senate Bill 50 proposes to revive the repealed head tax on employed individuals, both residents and nonresidents.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 – 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...
JUNEAU – The Alaska Senate today voted unanimously for the smallest operating budget in 15 years, resulting in a $600 million surplus.
Budget also transfers more than $10 billion to Permanent Fund’s protected principal
JUNEAU – The Alaska Legislature today voted to repeal and replace Senate Bill 91, strengthen the state’s sex crime laws, and provide police and prosecutors with new tools to fight...
JUNEAU – Earlier today, Governor Mike Dunleavy announced his intention to call a special session to address public safety, the budget and the Permanent Fund dividend....
JUNEAU – The Alaska Senate today voted unanimously to repeal and replace Senate Bill 91, strengthen the state’s sex crime laws, and provide police and prosecutors with new tools to...
JUNEAU – Senator Bert Stedman, R-Sitka, today released the following statement on the passing of former Representative Bill Williams of Ketchikan.
JUNEAU – The Alaska Senate today unanimously passed a capital budget for fiscal year 2020.
JUNEAU – The Alaska Legislature today approved a measure that improves statewide access to vaccines and reduces healthcare costs for providers and insurance payers....
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