Alaska Voters Reject Higher Taxes on Oil Companies

Alaskans agreed, but not by much, with Gov. Sean Parnell and not former Gov. Sarah Palin that oil companies needed to pay less taxes if they are to boost oil production. Voters rejected a tax referendum that was on Tuesday's ballot to repeal SB 21.

"With all 441 precincts reporting late Wednesday (August 20), a ballot measure to repeal the tax credit legislation was trailing by 6,880 votes. An estimated 14,000 absentee ballots are still to be counted in the days ahead, but supporters and opponents of the legislation said that the referendum had been decided," writes Fox News (with contributions from The Associated Press.)

The tax credit legislation, Senate Bill 21, or the More Alaska Production Act, was initiated by Gov. Sean Parnell to reduce taxes paid by oil companies in the belief that it would spur oil production, and thus the financial and economic benefits, including more jobs, that accommodate increased drilling activity. Citizens gathered signatures to restore the higher taxes on the oil industry after SB 21 was signed by Parnell in June, 2013.

As detailed last week in "America's Energy Bust", oil production has been declining in The Last Frontier State since 1988, and former Governor Sarah Palin's legislation to increase taxes on energy companies in 2007 didn't help matters. She campaigned in support of Ballot Measure 1 (see Sarah Palin channel and New York Times).

On "Wednesday afternoon, Vic Fischer, co-chair of Vote Yes! Repeal the Giveaway, said his side had lost the election but not the larger battle," writes Alex DeMarban of The Alaska Dispatch News.

Now that the majority of voters bought Parnell's argument, the governor "says it’s now time for the oil industry to increase its investment in oil field projects that create jobs for Alaskans," DeMarban adds.

Full Story: Supporters of Alaska oil tax credit law declare victory after repeal referendum

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