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.”