I work at the family business my father started in Fairbanks back in 1982. We are Flowline Alaska, a fabrication and manufacturing facility that coats and insulates pipe for the producers. Through the years and ever-changing oil-tax regimes, we have seen ups and downs in our workload based directly on whether our clients are investing up north. I can tell you first-hand, we are once again running full-speed and have an optimistic future because of SB 21.
After ACES our requests for bids declined dramatically. Projects we had lined up were suddenly canceled. We had to decrease our union work force dramatically as we had no work .
Since SB 21 passed, there have been more jobs to bid and purchase orders to fill. We are constantly adding to our payroll. We're giving people opportunity.
SB 21 is working; not only for our shop, but other small businesses in Fairbanks, which are bustling. Economic morale is optimistic.
Some naysayers think they will be sticking it to the producers and gaining their "fair share" by reverting to ACES, the essence of an unstable "big government" tax policy. But what they would really be doing is hurting local shops by taking away work. Make no mistake: the oil producers are businesses that invest wisely. They will take their money to a more competitive climate. If they choose not to invest, we have no work.
The producers keep repeating they need an atmosphere that is competitive, consistent and clear. SB 21 gives them that. Keep SB 21 in place so they can invest in Alaska, and we will see continued economic growth. Vote no on one.
Genevieve Schok Jr. is manager of Flowline Alaska and serves on the board of directors for the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce.
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