The major oil companies in Alaska have dedicated more than $10 million to date to convince us Alaskans that now is not the time to raise taxes on their oil production in Alaska. When ever did the oil companies think was a good time to raise their taxes on our diminishing oil reserves? Of course, never.
In 2014, the oil companies convinced the Legislature and the people in the major population centers to opt for SB 21 and lower the taxes on the oil companies by more than $1 billion per year. The sales pitch was that more oil production would provide the state with a net gain on income. That did not happen.
Since SB 21 was passed, our Permanent Fund dividend has been diminished by half. Gov. Bill Walker lost his election because he “took our dividend away.” Actually, it was Gov. Sean Parnell, an ex-oil company lobbyist, and our misled Legislature passing SB 21 who “took our dividend away.” Now is the time to restore the fair and equitable tax on our oil resources.
We should all vote yes on Ballot Measure 1 in November if we want to see any Permanent Fund dividend in our future.
— Don Callahan
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