Alaska Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer on Tuesday certified an initiative that would raise oil taxes by raising the minimum production tax and repealing a per-barrel deduction. 

Sponsors are calling it the Fair Share Act. The proposed initiative was brought forth by Anchorage attorney Robin Brena, who said Alaska wasn't getting paid enough for the oil it produced

The effort is in response to the 2013-2014 legislative session's Senate Bill 21, which also became known as the More Alaska Production Act. Brena has previously stated under current laws there are massive tax giveaways between $1 billion and $2 billion a year. 

The proposed ballot measure includes:

  • Applying changes to larger North Slope fields that produce a minimum 40,000 barrels daily over the most recent calendar year and 400 million cumulatively;
  • Increasing the gross minimum production tax for these larger fields to 10% while increasing the 10% minimum by 1% (up to a maximum of 15%) for every $5 increase above $50 per barrel;
  • Eliminating the $8 per barrel credit starting at $50 per barrel and adds an additional tax on producers’ profits beginning at $50 per barrel of profit.

This applies only to certain fields already under development.

Alaska Oil and Gas Association President and CEO Kara Moriarty said if passed the measure would hurt the economy. In an emailed statement Tuesday evening, Moriarty said:

“This proposed ballot measure is yet another flawed attempt to adopt complicated tax policy through the initiative process," said Moriarty. "While the sponsors say it will not have any impact, make no mistake, no industry in Alaska can sustain a $1 billion plus tax hike without negatively impacting investment decisions for their business, which creates less opportunity for jobs for Alaskans. We look forward to communicating with Alaskans through this process.”

According to a letter to initiative supporters sent by Lt. Gov. Meyer, there were 163 certified voters sponsoring the effort to overturn the controversial oil and gas company tax credit incentive program. 

The initiative will now need to gather 28,501 signatures to be voted on to appear on the next ballot. Signatures must be turned in before the Legislature gavels in on Jan. 21, 2020.

Steve Quinn contributed to this story.

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