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Senators challenge governor over oil tax law

By Bonney Bowman 7:43 AM June 11, 2014

Two Alaska state senators are challenging Gov. Sean Parnell over SB-21. They say they’ll stop trying to get the new tax law overturned if he signs a guarantee it will work. Senators Hollis French and Bill Wielechowski issued the challenge Tuesday.

They want the governor to call a special session and sign a new statute.

If the state sees one additional barrel of oil production in 2019 over 2013 and earns one additional dollar in revenue, SB-21 will stay on the books.

If not, the former tax structure will be reinstated retroactively. Alaska’s Clear and Equitable Share, or ACES, was enacted by the Legislature in 2007.

The senators say their challenge gives SB-21 five years to prove itself successful and gives Alaska residents a safeguard if it doesn’t.

“If we don’t get more oil, if we don’t get more revenue, if we haven’t maximized our resources, then we get ACES reinstated back to 2014. It’s that simple,” French said.

The governor’s office called the challenge an election-year ploy. It says SB-21 has already started to work, creating new jobs and investment.

Voters will decide the fate of SB-21 in the August election.

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