JUNEAU — Both sides are gearing up for an expected House vote today on proposed cuts to oil taxes.
Gov. Sean Parnell and supporters say such a move will address a stranglehold current taxes place on oil companies, particularly at high oil prices. Skeptics asked colleagues today to consider the potential downside — a major cut in taxes that could have only marginal benefits.
Democratic Reps. Les Gara of Anchorage and David Guttenberg of Fairbanks pointed to fresh state analyses they say suggest the cuts would cost state government billions of dollars “even if future oil production increases.” They said all signs show it will amount to a net loss to state coffers.
“This bill fails if it works. And if it doesn’t work, and we’ve not heard any reason to believe it will, then it’ll cost billions more,” Guttenberg said in a statement. He and Gara said targeted tax breaks for companies that drill here would better address state concerns.
The House Finance Committee cleared the multi-pronged tax plan late Tuesday. The panel voted 8-3 to advance the measure to the floor, although members’ recommendations carried a tighter margin: 6-3, with two members withholding recommendation.
Parnell applauded committee members, saying by statement late Tuesday they “acted to keep the conversation going about how to grow our economy and creating opportunity for Alaskans.”
The House is set to meet today at 10:30 a.m.
Contact staff writer Christopher Eshleman at 459-7582.
Read more: Fairbanks Daily News-Miner - House vote on Parnell s oil tax plan expected