Oil Tax Proposals Keep Coming
Gara, French present alternative to governor's bill
No surprise, oil taxes were a subject of discussion in the legislature Monday.
Representative Les Gara (D-Anchorage) called for a committee hearing on the bill he introduced last year for tax credits for exploration and reinvestment in Alaska. And then Senator Hollis French (D-Anchorage) gave a speech on the senate floor.
French opposes Governor Sean Parnell’s bill to cut oil production taxes by about $1.8 billion a year. He says Norway taxes a little bit more than Alaska, and yet has strong investment by the industry.
“But the debate is raging here, and it’s not raging in Norway? Why?” French said. “Because they're hard-headed Norwegian patriots. They've put the rules in place a long time ago, and they've stuck by them. That's the way they want to structure their relationship with their partners. It's different here. I think the oil industry senses that they might get a dramatic reduction in their taxes, and they're pushing hard to get that. That's reasonable. That's what you expect them to do. But we have to be hard-headed in exchange."
The governor’s bill passed the house last year but stalled in the senate. Senate President Gary Stevens has said the senate will develop an alternative proposal.
Tomorrow the Senate Judiciary Committee hosts a two-day crime summit, including speakers such as U.S. Attorney for Alaska Karen Loeffler.
There will also be a hearing on a proposed constitutional amendment that would require the legislature to save most surplus oil revenue.