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Alaskans testify in favor of oil tax reform

 
MAKE ALASKA COMPETITIVE COALITION FEB. 20, 2013

Alaskans support oil tax reform

Alaskans around the state dedicated part of their Presidents Day to speaking out in favor of oil tax reform.

Senators Cathy Giessel and Anna Fairclough listen to public testimony on Feb. 18

In the first of two public hearings before the Senate Resources Committee, Bill Corbus of Juneau led off the testimony. “I watched with dismay when the Legislature passed ACES,” the former commissioner of revenue said. “Something urgently needs to be done to increase investment on the North Slope and turn around declining oil production.”

Noel Woods of Palmer lamented, “So much opposition to developing our resources in this state.”

“Whatever is done must be fair to Alaskans – current and future generations,” said Ken Hall of Fairbanks.

Former Speaker of the House Gail Phillips contrasted today with when she was in the Legislature. “When I served in the Legislature, we were fortunate in that we had a stable tax regime and didn’t have the grave issue of seriously declining oil production that you face today. At that time, we didn’t have to worry about Alaska’s competitive stature in the world market. We were strong and productive and competitive. Today, Alaska’s standing is totally different. It is up to you to set policy that will ensure a competitive regime that will turn things around and make us once again a leader in oil production.”

Maynard Tapp of Anchorage said what the state needs is “a 25-to-50-year plan, not a two-year plan.”

“Production is in a freefall,” said Steve Pratt of the Consumer Energy Alliance.

Rick Rogers, executive director of the Resource Development Council, said, “The real giveaway is the oil in the ground that’s not being produced.”

Anchorage businesswoman Laurie Fagnani said, “Alaska has a pricing problem.”

“I’m an advocate for oil tax reform,” said Allison Griffith of Anchorage.

“We only have one chance to get this right. It’s important to achieve alignment with the producers,” said Scott Hawkins.

Michael Jesperson wondered, “Why are we still debating?”

Andy Rogers said, “We’ve dressed ourselves in a very unattractive style.”

John Sturgeon, who said he was representing the timber industry, called the “current tax structure a disincentive to investment.”

“As our young people graduate, they look to Alaska for jobs,” said Rene Schofield of Ketchikan. “We want our families to stay in Alaska.”

Another opportunity to speak out

Alaskans will have another chance to testify this week on how to fix ACES when the Senate Resources Committee takes public comment on SB 21, the governor’s proposed oil tax reform bill.

5:15 p.m.
Wednesday, Feb. 20

Testimony will be taken statewide. The preference is that you testify in person at your local Legislative Information Office. Comments should be limited to two minutes.

Click here for a list of Legislative Information Offices.

 

  Memorable quotes

         

“Importantly, the governor’s tax proposal also seeks to bring our production tax system back into balance. It protects Alaskans by increasing state tax revenue when oil prices are low — precisely the time we need it — and it makes Alaska more competitive with its peers when oil prices are high — precisely the time when companies are eager to invest.”

Dan Sullivan, Commissioner of Natural Resources

 

"State and federal geologists agree that there is as much or more oil still in the ground on the North Slope as has been produced since the first discovery at Prudhoe Bay. It is necessary for us to keep working until we have a balanced, competitive and predictable tax system to ensure a good quality of life for future Alaskans. We prosper when more oil is produced."

Rep. Mia Costello

 

“Alaskans have spoken through the last election that they agree with the progress we made in the prior Legislature; but we still have work to do: putting more oil in the pipeline and stopping budget growth to name big ones. We’re going to repay their trust with more focus on the core values within our new caucus.”

Rep. Mike Chenault, Speaker of the House

 
 
Former Rep. Andrew Halcro, left, and Sen. Bill Wielechowski

‘Make it Monday’ features ‘The Great Oil Tax Debate’

In what promises to be a lively exchange, Andrew Halcro, former legislator and newly appointed president of the Anchorage Chamber, will debate Sen. Bill Wielechowski on the pros and cons of oil tax reform.

The slugfest begins at noon Feb. 25 at the Dena’ina Center. Steve Johnson, associate professor and director of debate at UAA, will be the moderator.

Click here for reservations.

Business community firmly behind tax reform

Oil tax reform is the No. 1 concern of Anchorage Chamber businesses, according to a recent membership survey.

That’s the same conclusion the Anchorage Economic Development Corp. found in its 2013 Business Confidence Index (BCI). "Once again, Anchorage and Chugiak/Eagle River businesses and organizations continue to see oil and gas development as highly important to Anchorage’s economy,” the BCI report said.

“When asked what the most important project was to Anchorage’s economy, 31 percent stated it was ‘Alaska North Slope resource development."

“Four out of five businesses or organizations that responded to the survey (80 percent) agreed that the ACES tax structure is negatively impacting the state’s oil production.”

You can read the whole report here.

 

 
MACC Steering Committee Member Mark Hamilton speaking in Fairbanks

We have a speaker to meet your needs

MACC can dispatch speakers to all parts of Alaska to talk to groups and employees about the need to meaningfully reform Alaska’s oil taxes. To schedule a presentation, contact Julianne at MSI Communications.

 

 
 

 

This week’s calendar

Wednesday, Feb. 20
1 p.m. – House Resources Committee, HB72, Gavel-to-Gavel or alaskalegislature.tv
3:30 p.m. – Senate Resources Committee, SB21, Gavel-to-Gavel or alaskalegislature.tv
5:15 p.m. – Public Testimony to Senate Resources Committee, SB21: Click for local LIO office listings.

Friday, Feb. 22
1 p.m. – House Resources Committee, HB72, Gavel-to-Gavel or alaskalegislature.tv
3:30 p.m. – Senate Resources Committee, SB21, Gavel-to-Gavel or alaskalegislature.tv

Monday, Feb. 25
11:30 a.m. – Anchorage Chamber Make it Monday Forum: The Great Oil Tax Debate Click here to RSVP.
1 p.m. – House Resources Committee, HB72, Gavel-to-Gavel or alaskalegislature.tv
3:30 p.m. – Senate Resources Committee, SB21, Gavel-to-Gavel or alaskalegislature.tv

Wednesday, Feb. 27
1 p.m. – House Resources Committee, HB72, Gavel-to-Gavel or alaskalegislature.tv
3:30 p.m. – Senate Resources Committee, SB21, Gavel-to-Gavel or alaskalegislature.tv

Friday, Mar. 1
1 p.m. – House Resources Committee, HB72, Gavel-to-Gavel or alaskalegislature.tv
3:30 p.m. – Senate Resources Committee, SB21, Gavel-to-Gavel or alaskalegislature.tv
 
Make Alaska Competitive Coalition
3501 Denali Street #202, Anchorage, AK 99503 : 907.569.7070 : © 2013 Make Alaska Competitive Coalition
MACC accepts no money from oil producers.

 

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