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The good people that live around Willow could be excused for thinking Mother Nature was out to get them on Monday.

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Letty Eileen Cole, 93, died on Oct. 15, 2014, in Ketchikan.
2/27/2013
Way to go

This is what we want to see.

Two lawmakers — one in Juneau and one in Washington, D.C. — calling for financial efficiency and relief instead of spending taxpayer dollars.

Sen. Cathy Giessel, R-Turnagain Arm/North Kenai, has sponsored Senate Bill 7, which would provide tax relief for small and medium size Alaska businesses.

Giessel wrote the legislation after business owners talked with her about the current corporate income tax burden.

Giessel, in working with the state Department of Revenue, learned the 10 tax brackets used to calculate tax on corporate income had not been adjusted since 1981 — 32 years. Those brackets needed to be adjusted for inflation.

The proposed new brackets reflect an adjustment for inflation, moving the top bracket from $90,000 to $220,000. The current tax rate will remain.

This means a company with $45,000 in taxable income will get a 50-percent reduction in taxes or about $600. A company with a taxable income of $550,000 will get a 6-percent decrease or $6,000 tax break, according to Giessel.

The Senate Finance Committee has passed the bill, and a similar bill is moving through the House.

Meanwhile, Sen. Lisa Murkowski explained to a congressional committee this week that part of putting the nation on a fiscally responsible path should involve the Government Accounting Office checking to be sure the Energy Department's efficiency programs are indeed themselves efficient.

Murkowski called for a review of overlapping authorities and duplicative programs that can be combined or eliminated to improve DOE's operations.

"Given the constraints on federal finances and the failure of mandates to deliver the promised results, those of us in the federal government should put our own house in order," says Murkowski. She proposes GAO review current funding and past performance of residential, commercial and industrial energy efficiency programs at DOE.

Giessel's and Murkowski's efforts are in line with what the public expects. Giessel's bill, if passed by the Legislature and signed off on by the Parnell administration, will help the businesses that generate the power that drive Alaska's economy. Murkowski's suggestion will work toward saving federal dollars and improving government operation.

This is what legislating looks like these days.