Sen. Wielechowski proposes additional taxes for oil companies
There will once again be discussion in Juneau about whether to change the oil and gas tax structure in Alaska.
Anchorage Democratic Sen. Bill Wielechowski contends Alaskans are not getting their fair share of oil money and says the More Alaska Production Act — Senate Bill 21 — isn't helping to provide more oil through the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System and create more jobs.
The Senator pre-filed SB 129. He says his bill will impact only three areas of what he says are the most profitable oil fields in the state: Prudhoe Bay, Kuparuk and Alpine.
The senator's bill includes additional taxes on major oil fields, reining in allowable deductions and eliminating the per-barrel credit.
Wielechowski blames oil company tax breaks for huge state revenue shortages. He also says his constituents want him to change things.
"We're paying out these massive tax credits. We're not getting a fair share for our oil. So with this bill, this would bring in $850 million to a billion dollars. This goes a long way towards closing our fiscal gap. It allows more money to be available to the people of Alaska for their PFDs," said Wielechowski.
The oil industry responded to the proposed measure.
"From our initial assessment, Sen. Wielechowski's bill represents a massive tax hike on the industry - at least 300% at current prices. His 45-page proposal is highly complex, and creates uncertainty and instability. If one is truly concerned about increasing production, jobs and revenue for the state, increasing taxes makes no sense," Kara Moriarty with the Alaska Oil and Gas Association wrote in a statement.
Separately, one group is pursuing an oil tax change through a voter initiative. It has until Jan. 21 to submit signatures to the Division of Elections for review.
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