News from the Alaska State Legislature, the Office of Senator Giessel
For Immediate Release: April 18, 2017

Testimony Affirms Need to Protect Oil Tax Regime, Investment

Giessel_stamp.jpgSenator Cathy Giessel   Web Site    Send Email

JUNEAU – This week, powerful public testimony and guidance from expert witnesses in the Senate Resources Committee contradicted the significant oil tax policy changes approved by the House of Representatives, now under consideration in the Senate.

“Cleary, this legislation is designed to slam a massive tax increase on an industry that is currently supplying more than two-thirds of our state revenue – and that is already challenged at these low oil prices,” said Sen. Cathy Giessel (R-Anchorage), chair of the Senate Resources Committee. “The House bill, which the governor appeared to endorse, would be a highly imprudent action that is likely to reduce the investment we need to keep good jobs supporting Alaska families and businesses. The tax policy change threatens the royalties growing our Permanent Fund, money flowing into our state treasury, and property tax revenue building our local communities.”

The committee heard several hours of public testimony from across the state on proposed changes to Alaska’s oil tax system. Feedback from the public was overwhelmingly against increasing taxes on the oil industry, although a number of people encouraged the state to end a program of cash incentives for smaller, new companies with exploration and development plans. 47 people spoke against the bill, 13 were in favor, and two were partially opposed.

“We’ve lost 20 percent of our oil industry jobs in the last two years, but that’s not all; small businesses that provide support services, clothing retailers and restaurants – every corner of our economy are feeling the downturn,” said Sen. Giessel. “Alaskans are worried about their livelihoods. I was particularly struck by the testimony of a single mother who works in Anchorage as an engineer for a contracting firm. She reminded the committee that ‘Big Oil’ is made up of ‘little people’ like her, contributing to our economy and working hard to keep the North Slope growing.”

Two expert consultants who spoke to the Legislature on Saturday also affirmed that increasing taxes in this low-price environment is detrimental to the industry. They agreed that it could compromise some of the investment that drives new production and maintains a steady flow of state revenue, even with these low prices. The current tax system, SB 21, has proven successful, reversing a decline in production from the largest North Slope fields and increasing total production by nearly three percent last year, with similar increases anticipated this year.

The Senate Resources Committee will continue its work on the oil tax legislation this week.

For more information, contact Senate Majority Press Secretary Daniel McDonald at (907) 465-4066.

###

Share this on Twitter Tweet icon-facebook.png Share

News & Videos more >

Senator John Coghill

Statement from Sen. Coghill on Passing of his Father, Jack Coghill

JUNEAU – John Bruce “Jack” Coghill passed away this morning at the age of 93 of natural causes.  Full Story >>

Senator Bert Stedman

Co-Chairs of Senate Finance Comment on Governor’s Budget Proposal

JUNEAU – Today, the co-chairs of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Bert Stedman (R-Sitka) and Senator Natasha von Imhof (R-Anchorage), commented on Governor Michael J....  Full Story >>

Senator Click Bishop

Bishop introduces bill to re-establish education head tax

With many in Juneau anticipating budget cuts Wednesday from the governor, a legislator has introduced a bill to establish a $30 education head tax to help raise money for school...  Full Story >>

Senator David Wilson

Statement from Sen. Wilson on Dunleavy Admin’s API Decision

JUNEAU –Today, Senator David Wilson (R-Wasilla), chairman of the Senate Health and Social Services Committee, released the following statement in response to the Dunleavy...  Full Story >>

Senator Cathy Giessel

Senate Majority Focused on Crime, Budget & Protecting Permanent Fund

JUNEAU – The 31st Alaska Legislature convened today, and with it a new 14-member Senate Majority laid out its vision for Alaska: A government that responsibly budgets, prioritizes...  Full Story >>

Senator Peter Micciche

Sen. Micciche Bill Closes “Schneider Loopholes” for Sexual Assault

JUNEAU — Today, Senator Peter Micciche (R-Soldotna) filed Senate Bill 12 to eliminate the “Schneider Loopholes” in Alaska’s criminal code. The case of Justin Schneider, the man...  Full Story >>

Senator Cathy Giessel

Senate Majority Welcomes Significant Step toward ANWR Development

ANCHORAGE – Members of the Alaska Senate Majority today welcomed a significant step toward opening the 1002 area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) for responsible resource...  Full Story >>

Senator Bert Stedman

Senate Finance Co-Chairs Comment on Preliminary Budget

ANCHORAGE – Today, co-chairs of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Bert Stedman (R-Sitka) and Senator Natasha von Imhof (R-Anchorage), commented on Governor Mike Dunleavy’s...  Full Story >>

Majority Press Office

Senate Majority Announces Team, Caucus Agreement

ANCHORAGE – The Alaska Senate Majority today announced its complete team for the 31st Alaska Legislature, which begins Jan. 15.  Full Story >>

Senator Cathy Giessel

New Alaska Senate Majority Announced

ANCHORAGE – Members of the Alaska Senate today formed a new majority organization including all 13 Republican senators.  Full Story >>

Find your Senator full map