Demand a severance tax
April 22, 2021
Where’s the money? With imminent round log export from the Haines Borough and potential mineral export in the future, it is all going overseas to China and Japan. We get the environmental degradation and serious impact to our quality of life, ability to sustain ourselves off the land, plus the clean up costs when the damage is done.
The Haines Borough has a lot to lose and little to gain from raw resource extraction and export. I broached the subject of a severance tax many years ago and more recently with the manager and assembly. The borough can tax raw resources; timber, minerals and gravel leaving the borough without any value added. Other boroughs in Alaska have such a tax. It pays for roads, harbors, government salaries, etc.
It is time for the public to demand such a tax. Our borough government is looking for additional funding resources while our public resources like the library, museum and Chilkat Center that make our community a nice place to live are threatened with closure. Natural resources have a value and we need to be getting our fair share of it if they are going to be extracted from our borough.