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

Bishop_stamp.jpgSenator Click Bishop   Web Site    Send Email

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 When it was repealed in 1980, the tax was $10 per person which has the equivalent value of $30 today.

Senate Bill 50 proposes to revive the repealed head tax on employed individuals, both residents and nonresidents.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.

Share this on Twitter Tweet icon-facebook.png Share

News & Videos more >

Senator John Coghill

Statement from Sen. Coghill on Passing of his Father, Jack Coghill

JUNEAU – John Bruce “Jack” Coghill passed away this morning at the age of 93 of natural causes.  Full Story >>

Senator Bert Stedman

Co-Chairs of Senate Finance Comment on Governor’s Budget Proposal

JUNEAU – Today, the co-chairs of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Bert Stedman (R-Sitka) and Senator Natasha von Imhof (R-Anchorage), commented on Governor Michael J....  Full Story >>

Senator Click Bishop

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...  Full Story >>

Senator David Wilson

Statement from Sen. Wilson on Dunleavy Admin’s API Decision

JUNEAU –Today, Senator David Wilson (R-Wasilla), chairman of the Senate Health and Social Services Committee, released the following statement in response to the Dunleavy...  Full Story >>

Senator Cathy Giessel

Senate Majority Focused on Crime, Budget & Protecting Permanent Fund

JUNEAU – The 31st Alaska Legislature convened today, and with it a new 14-member Senate Majority laid out its vision for Alaska: A government that responsibly budgets, prioritizes...  Full Story >>

Senator Peter Micciche

Sen. Micciche Bill Closes “Schneider Loopholes” for Sexual Assault

JUNEAU — Today, Senator Peter Micciche (R-Soldotna) filed Senate Bill 12 to eliminate the “Schneider Loopholes” in Alaska’s criminal code. The case of Justin Schneider, the man...  Full Story >>

Senator Cathy Giessel

Senate Majority Welcomes Significant Step toward ANWR Development

ANCHORAGE – Members of the Alaska Senate Majority today welcomed a significant step toward opening the 1002 area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) for responsible resource...  Full Story >>

Senator Bert Stedman

Senate Finance Co-Chairs Comment on Preliminary Budget

ANCHORAGE – Today, co-chairs of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Bert Stedman (R-Sitka) and Senator Natasha von Imhof (R-Anchorage), commented on Governor Mike Dunleavy’s...  Full Story >>

Majority Press Office

Senate Majority Announces Team, Caucus Agreement

ANCHORAGE – The Alaska Senate Majority today announced its complete team for the 31st Alaska Legislature, which begins Jan. 15.  Full Story >>

Senator Cathy Giessel

New Alaska Senate Majority Announced

ANCHORAGE – Members of the Alaska Senate today formed a new majority organization including all 13 Republican senators.  Full Story >>

Find your Senator full map