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Sarah Palin's Wasilla; High Crime, Big Budgets, A Sales Tax & Wal-Mart

While the McCain-Palin Campaign continues to misrepresent Barack Obama's $1000 middle class tax cut proposal by falsely claiming that he will raise taxes on those earning less than $250,000 a year, it was actually Sarah Palin who ran on a sales tax platform for her town of Wasilla while running for city council.

Palin supported a 2% city sales tax which hit every citizen including children anytime they purchased anything including candy or toys. And Palin grew the city budget from $4 million to $6 million for a town of just over 9,000 persons. When Palin planned to run for governor, she lowered the city sales tax to 0.5%. Since the state of Alaska does not levy a sales tax, Palin's city sales tax was the only one of it's type in the state.

Palin also lured low wage big box stores like Wal-Mart to the town. Generally these big box low wage stores tend destroy many small businesses and replace many higher wage jobs with minimum wage jobs. Because of the high cost of living, the average wage in Alaska state is $832. However in Palin's Wasilla wages lagged far behind at just $652, or around 25% less than the state average. How many families could survive with a 25% wage cut?

Another serious area of Palin failure as mayor was a crime rate in Wasilla nearly three times the statewide average rate.

Under Palin crime was high, as were taxes, and Wal-Mart helped to make wages about 25% below the statewide average. On paper it sure doesn't look very attractive at all. This is some record of achievement to run on? Is this how Palin would run the U.S. if she became president. The thought is chilling and the facts sobering.

It is little wonder that Palin is ducking from reporters and has so far only allowed just one interview to a reporter. Palin is the most closely controlled vice presidential candidate in the history of the U.S. Palin sold the state jet at a $600,000 loss to the taxpayers. Palin continues to confuse voters over two different "bridge to nowhere"projects.

And Palin's performance as mayor of tiny Wasilla wasn't stellar either. No wonder the McCain Campaign is keeping her under wraps in tightly controlled appearances only. Palin is a mythical entity just like the unicorn.


Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!

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Rating: 2.6/5 (17 votes cast)


Comments (11)

Charlie Pang:

She was soooooo bad they elected her twice. This article leans so hard one way I'm surprised I didn't hear a giant crash by now.

ts:

A 2% sales tax even on on candy and toys? Is there no end to the perfidy?

You have to be kidding me. The opening of Wal-Mart didn't cause a 25% wage cut. And if you knew anything about Alaska, which you clearly don't, you would know that average wage is a meaningless measure in a state that large.

You even went for the "sold the jet at a loss" meme. Who has ever bought a new plane, car, boat, and sold it at a profit? The cost of the plane has to be treated largely as a sunk cost for future budget scenarios. What is relevant is the annual cost to operate the plane relative to the cost of travel by commercial methods. In 2007 after selling the plane, Gov. Palin's travel costs were 22% of what Gov. Murkowski's costs were in 2006. The cost avoidance that year for not having the plane was over $400,000. If that continues, the $600,000 lost would be offset in about 18 months. Add to that the fact that the sale returned $2.1 million to the state coffers, and it was a really sound business decision, certainly one that they taxpayers approved of, and may have even discussed while they shopped at Wal-Mart.

Lee Ward:

"You even went for the "sold the jet at a loss" meme. Who has ever bought a new plane, car, boat, and sold it at a profit?"

That lying Liar John McCain claimed the jet was sold at a profit - that's why mentioning that it was sold at a loss was relevant.

Don't tell me you didn't know about that lie from John McCain???

He also said it was sold on eBay - another lie.

I guess it might be hard to keep track of all the lies he's telling... some are whoppers...

Here's the YouTube where Senator John McCain lied.

ts:

And by the way, having lived in Alaska, and having paid sales taxes in Unalaska, Nome, Juneau, Ketchikan, Cordova, Unalakleet, and Sitka, I can say with some authority that you don't know what you are talking about. Most every city in Alaska that is classified by the state Commerce Department as a first class city, as Wasilla is, charges a sales tax.

But why let the truth get in the way of a good rant.

ts:

Lee -

It's a debatable question as to whether the plane was sold at a loss or not. The state did not purchase the plane outright, but rather was making quarterly payments of 62,492.79. If the $2.1 million at sale was sufficient to retire the debt, then the state did not incur a loss. In fact, if you look at it as a business deal, the depreciated value (using a simple 5 year depreciation schedule) of the jet would make the asset value worth only approximately $1.82 million at time of sale. Of course we could get into a discussion of residual values, but that would require you and Paul to be something other than ideologues, so I don't see that happening.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

No one is disputing that other Alaskan cities don't also have sales tax -- what's at issue is Palin's claim to be tax reducer, when her record as mayor of Wasilla shows that she increased the sales tax.

And you're full of shit on the plane sale, there TS - but nice try.

FactCheck.org:

The jet was eventually purchased by Larry Reynolds, a businessman of Valdez, Alaska. But the state didn't make a profit; instead, it lost money on the deal. According to news reports and a release from Palin, Reynolds only paid $2.1 million for the jet, several hundred thousand dollars less than the $2.7 million Murkowski originally paid for it in 2005, and still less than the nearly $2.5 million price tag the Anchorage Daily News reported that Robert Heckman, owner of Turbo North Aviation, had suggested as an asking price for the jet.

The quarterly payments argument is a red herring - the party who sold the plane to the state of Alaska for $2.7 million got $2.7 million.

"If the $2.1 million at sale was sufficient to retire the debt, then the state did not incur a loss"

If the debt remaining was $2.1 million then the state of Alaska - which had and operated the plane for some period of time, had already paid in $600,000 and that equity was lost at the time of sale.

Now, we don't mind lying sacks of GOP puss coming round here lying, ts - we're actually quite used to it - but your repeated insults are -- well, insulting - have earned you the "troll of the day" award. Keep it up and you'll earn the "banned troll of the day" award.

Doubting Thomas:

Not that I'd want to interrupt the love-fest here - but I took a look to see what a WestWind II jet was going for. The aircraft was made from 1965 to 1987, so it would have been used.

The highest price I've been able to find one listed for on the web is about $2 mil.

A 1977 Westwind refurbished in 2002 was going for about $1.4 mil.

http://www.privateairdaily.com/classifieds/item/22102.html

So - either Murkowski paid too much for the thing (hey, he's a governer with deep pockets, and price was no object) or the lav had a solid gold toilet seat. Either way, getting above the average price on a resale wasn't a bad move.

Doubting Thomas:

Whoops. Make that $1.3 mil. Murkowski got took, definitely.

Lee Ward:

The plane in question owned by the State of Alaska was a 1984 Westwind II.

I suspect the market for luxury jets has crashed with the high cost of fuel.

Hmm, "crashed" was a bad choice of words - how about "plummeted" - errh, no - maybe "dropped" - still bad.

Decreased - perhaps the market for luxury jets has decreased.

Doubting Thomas:

Decreased is good. Crashed is funnier.

Don't really think the market's gone down that far, though. I can see the price dropping $200-300k, but by 50%? Nah.

jpm100:
Palin supported a 2% city sales tax which hit every citizen including children anytime they purchased anything including candy or toys. And Palin grew the city budget from $4 million to $6 million for a town of just over 9,000 persons. When Palin planned to run for governor, she lowered the city sales tax to 0.5%. Since the state of Alaska does not levy a sales tax, Palin's city sales tax was the only one of it's type in the state.

Nice set of half-truths there.

Firstly the tax was voted on. It was a vote to pay for a new sports facility (aka hockey rink). And paying off the facility is what ballooned the city expenses.


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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