Governor Stresses Oil Tax Cuts in State of State Address
Continues “Choose Respect” campaign against domestic violence
JUNEAU - In his fourth annual State of the State address Wednesday night, Governor Sean Parnell continued his drumbeat on resource development, including a cut in oil production taxes and movement toward a natural gas pipeline.
But he is seeking to sustain momentum, not just on resource development, but also on his campaign against domestic violence and sexual assault.
Parnell reminded legislators that in last year’s State of the State address he called on the three major North Slope producers to align their interests among themselves and with TransCanada, the pipeline company under the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act.
Having achieved that alignment, the governor called for another step forward.
"Tonight, I set another important benchmark for the private parties involved in the Alaska pipeline project: By February 15 – one month from now – they must select a concept on an all-Alaska project. Let me be clear: That means describing and detailing the project and pipeline specifications."
Simultaneously, Parnell called for giving greater authority to the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation to pursue a project emphasizing gas for Alaskans.
On oil taxes, he touted the new bill he introduced Wednesday that is intended to encourage more investment on the slope and reverse the production decline curve.
"By eliminating progressivity, and rebalancing capital tax credit payments, we can create a simpler 25 percent tax… What will remain will be a more balanced, more competitive, and more predictable tax system, one with greater protections for Alaskans at lower oil prices, in exchange for lower taxes at higher oil prices."
Parnell also touched on public safety, calling for 15 more village public safety officers, and seeking to build on his "Choose Respect" campaign of the past three years.
"The bill I propose would increase sentences for child pornography, ensure sex traffickers serve all of their time, require johns who target minors to register as sex offenders, and allow court-ordered GPS tracking of abusers, stalkers, and assaulters."
The governor has been faulted by Democrats for not proposing an increase in the K-12 per-student formula.
But he called on the Legislature to set a goal of a 90 percent high school graduation rate by the year 2020.
State Democrats say the governor's priorities are out of order.
“If Alaska stops getting our fair share for our oil, it will bust our budget, and that means politicians will look to sales and income taxes and a potential raid on your PFD – that's not scare tactics, that's what is coming if this bill passes.”