Committee hears report on tax breaks, exemptions, discounts offered by state

The state is spending nearly $450,000 a year on 17 tax credits, discounts and exemptions that should be terminated, according to a legislative report.

The office of Rep. Steve Thompson, a co-chair of the House Finance Committee, has taken a lead on delving into the report on so-called indirect expenditures from the Legislative Finance Division.

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On Tuesday, Thompson aide Brodie Anderson provided an analysis of the report to the committee.

The report recommends terminating indirect expenditures including discounts for wholesalers to apply tax stamps to cigarette packs and tax breaks for filing tire fees and motor fuel taxes on time. It also suggests such things as reviewing fee structures, like Fish and Game license fees.

The Legislature has created, over decades, exemptions and tax breaks that are not reviewed regularly, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported (http://bit.ly/1CVwwsl ). Some indirect expenditures predate statehood.

Department of Revenue Deputy Commissioner Jerry Burnett said his agency would be willing to help evaluate and implement some of the recommendations when asked by the committee.

Thompson, R-Fairbanks, said an omnibus bill likely would be crafted to tackle the indirect expenditures that the report recommended for termination. But he said some of the more controversial provisions could be addressed individually.

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Information from: Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News-Miner, http://www.newsminer.com