The First Storey County Commissioner Meeting of 2018 had some interesting points in between the standard fare. The conversation over the fabled tax rollback/rebate/cuts continued as Commissioner Jack McGuffey tried once again to make this dead horse gallop so he can pretend to lead the charge for all us little people.
At a previous meeting, it was suggested that our Assistant District Attorney Keith Loomis look into how lawmakers in Alaska are able to cut a check to all the happy residents of the most rugged state in the union.
Tax Cut? Keith Loomis says no.
Mr. Loomis was asked by Commissioner McGuffey to administer the crop to the dead horse’s tax rollback quarter flank and Mr. Loomis responded by basically saying “It’s not happening”.
“The Alaska Sovereign Wealth Fund is a fund that receives 25% of the mineral revenues received by the state. It’s put into a fund that is invested into a fund that is invested in investments of various types and it’s accumulated from year to year and annually a check is cut to residents of the state. That fund was established by virtue of a Constitutional Amendment of the Alaska Constitution because there was no provision in Alaska law that allowed them to invest funds for future profit to be divided among the residents,” Mr. Loomis explained.
“We are subject to the local government budget and finance act which says how we are to establish our budgets and how we are to make appropriations for the different type of expenditures. That’s set out in stone in that act. There isn’t a provision that we can make payments to the residents”.
“Well, Maybe We Just Have A Commissioner Party With The Residents…”
Upon hearing the sad news (again), Commissioner McGuffey devolved into a tangential mumble-fest that began with him suggesting that he “ran for Commissioner on this” and feels obligated to “hold (Commissioner Gilman’s) feet to the fire on this one”. His stream of consciousness continued through an “Act of Congress” (or the State Legislature as Mr. Loomis explained to everyone in the room paying attention) and paying residents power bills and then ended up with him conceding that if we can’t have a property tax rollback, maybe we just “have a Commissioner Party with the residents” (You know, like the Chrismas Party for the residents that nobody except county employees knew about).
You just can’t make this stuff up…
At this point, I couldn’t tell if it was me or Jack that was on acid.
Listen for yourself and tell me if you start seeing tracers towards the end (9:17):
This illustrates, painfully, that Commissioner McGuffey has no clue how tax code is enacted, regulated, enforced or fantasized about in any meaningful manner
Later on in the meeting, Item 10 discussed the audited 2017 Budget. I took the opportunity to ask the auditor and Controller Hugh Gallagher if they thought that we had enough cash reserves to redistribute the wealth in any manner. The Auditor was too terrified to answer the question, but Hugh decided to say several hundred words that distilled down to one, “No”. Listen to the Question and Answer here (5:03):
So the bottom line, gentle reader, there is not going to be a mythical tax cut, property tax rollback Power Bill payment or a Commissioner’s “Acid in the Punch” party.
We simply don’t have the money for a tax rollback.
Which goes to show that this happy proclamation by Lance “The Magnificent” Gilman in 2014 was pure horse “feathers”.