the coastal residents are paying for your roads and their maintenance and improvements in two ways: federal highway funds come straight out of our taxes, and if you don’t live in a coastal community you’re benefiting from a subsidy we (the coastal) don’t really use much, but you don’t hear the Coastals acting all divisive and stuff, calling the Mainlander ugly names.
Also the highway maintenance in the state is a black hole for [money], heavily subsidized by Uncle Sugar, so many Americans that never see a piece of Alaska road are paying for your privilege to roam around the Interior free.
I used the polarizing analogy on purpose, but believe Americans (all) and Alaskans (all) have a major benefit from unfettered transportation corridors.
So kind sir, my two bits worth says lots of other people are paying for your roads that don’t get to use them, is it fair that so many taxpayers that don’t use “your” roads pay for them? Of course it’s fair, it’s what makes for a great country and a great state.
But to level the playing field a little, I’m a little surprised you didn’t offer to make a donation to DOT every time you buzz up and down “any” State Highway. Twenty percent of the state’s population lives in the ferry belt from Ketchikan to Unalaska. Just like we contribute to the mainland roads (we do use them sometimes and rely on the flow of goods and other services that come on them) we are one State, in a single Nation and all benefit from the freedom to move among all parts of the State because of the marvelous ferry system.
Now if you, and every rider and driver — including out of State residents that work here and the massive number of seasonal visitors — paid a toll every time they rolled along our State motorways, there’d probably be more than enough money to pay for much more than roads, ferries, schools, etc. So I say, bring on the Toll Roads: Parks, Seward Highway, Glenn Highway, Sterling Highway, Richardson Highway, Dalton Highway, Top of the World Highway, Alaska Highway.
Would the tolls pay for all the road services? Probably not, but at least the road users would pay more of a “fair share” of the cost, and taxpaying citizens of other States, such as New York, California, Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio wouldn’t be paying for so much of our “Alaskan” roads. Heck the tolls might even help pay for the ferries, and that’s the idea actually.
We the people band together to pay for infrastructure we all benefit from having in place to use for our freedom to travel affordably over the land, and in this case, the oceans too. Thanks for the chance to explain.
And as for the name calling, hey, I’d not go there, but I get it, I’m pretty mad too. I’m mad the the governor is willing to remove $1.9 billion dollars from our state coffers this year (and $1.2 billion a year almost in perpetuity) and give it to an industry that is massively profitable and mostly not based in Alaska, all the while slashing a bunch of Alaska services that are core to our State’s nature: education, healthcare, transportation, etc. without offering any creative ways to support our State as we know it into the future.
But I’m not mad at you, [commenter], or the “Mainlanders” that don’t pay their fair share to use (and abuse) our states roads, I’m mad at a governor whose only solution is to amputate, not treat a complex funding problem he had a hand in creating when he was a legislator.
Oil revenues can’t be the only revenue because the price of oil is too unpredictable (duh). Oh yeah, and it looks like the oil tax credits only benefit 9,000 oil company employees and oil company shareholders — many aren’t even Alaska residents, but that’s another story, I know. Stable sources of revenue are needed if we’re going to enjoy a thriving economy, education, healthcare, and even transportation systems in Alaska.
Imagine if Floridians (and all lower 48 residents) demanded not to pay for highways that you use (and they never will use?). Would that be fair?
Cheers man, have a great spring. And to the big tall guy who is hiring so many minions to do the bidding of outside special interests, I say man up and get creative (in a hurry) and support the fabric of our great State, not by shredding the cloth of the State like so many other guvs that were bought and paid for by Outsiders.”
These remarks originally appeared in the comments section of a misleading Facebook post from Governor Mike Dunleavy regarding funding for transportation in coastal Alaska. If you are the author of this screed, or know that person, feel free to let us know if you’d like to claim authorship or if you’d like us to remove your public comment from this blog.