Foes of oil-tax cut gather more than enough signatures for referendum

Michelle Theriault Boots

A group seeking to repeal an oil-tax cut passed by the Legislature this year turned in 51,000 voter signatures to the state's Division of Elections on Saturday, far more than the roughly 30,000 needed to put a referendum on the ballot in 2014, according to the state.

The referendum seeks to repeal Senate Bill 21, championed by Gov. Sean Parnell and other supporters who say the tax cuts would help stem a decline in North Slope oil production.

The group Vote Yes -- Repeal the Giveaway said in an e-mail message that it had collected petition book signatures from more than 40 House districts, another requirement to get the referendum on the ballot.

The 51,000 figure is unofficial, said Division of Elections director Gail Fenumiai. The process of verifying signatures will start Monday.

The division says it should be done with that process within 50 days.

Reach Michelle Theriault Boots at or 257-4344.