Alaska Senate passes oil tax revamp
By Alex Murray
Around 9 p.m. local time, Senate Bill 21 passed 11-9; Republicans Bert Stedman and Gary Stevens joined all seven Democrats in opposition. Although Democrats had hoped to convert Click Bishop in time for a reconsideration vote, the Senate passed the bill again today by the same margin.
The bill would end the current Alaska's Clear and Equitable Share (ACES) system, which taxes progressively when profits per barrel are greater than $30. After several versions were proposed, the bill that reached the floor would have increased the base tax rate for oil producers from 25 to 35 percent through 2016, with a 33 percent rate thereafter. Out of over a dozen proposed, the only amendment to pass yesterday set the rate at 35 percent with no automatic adjustments, matching the Senate Resources Committee's proposal and exceeding Governor Sean Parnell's original plan by ten percent.
Proponents argue that the plan will attract more development with more stable rates and expanded incentives, but opponents are skeptical as to whether this will happen.
Following the first vote, Parnell issued a statement that spoke positively of the bill's passage. The bill now moves on to the Alaska House of Representatives. Alaska is one of 24 Republican state government trifectas.
- Senate Finance Committee introduces rewrite of oil tax bill, from March 13
- Taxes on the ballot
- Sean Parnell
- Click Bishop
- Anchorage Daily News, "Alaska Senate stands by vote to cut taxes on oil industry," March 21, 2013
- The Associated Press, "Alaska Senate passes oil tax overhaul again," March 21, 2013
- Alaska Journal of Commerce, "Uncertainty remains on tax change effects," March 21, 2013
- KTUU, "Breaking News: AK Senate Passes Oil Tax Reform Bill," March 20, 2013