Letters to the Editor

Letter: Oil taxes

Don’t you wish that you could write a tax law for your industry that gave most of the risk to the state of Alaska and all the profits to yourself? That seems to be what the oil companies have done. If I remember, it required multiple oil company employees and spouses to pass the current law. Several declared conflicts of interest but were required to vote.

The risks are mitigated with the tax credits. In a recent article, the ADN said that we owe the oil companies nearly a billion dollars.

An Outside group is paying for many misleading ads to claim the proponents of Ballot Measure 1 are radical environmentalists and paid for by Outsiders. Almost all of the money urging you to vote yes is from Alaskans. Almost all of the money urging you to vote no is from Outsiders — the oil companies.

To add to the problem, Hilcorp will not pay corporate income taxes as BP did. They have elected "S" corporation status, which means that the owners will pay taxes as individuals (Form 1040). Alaska has no individual income tax. The loss could be more than $30 million per year, said Ken Alper, director of the state’s tax division under former Gov. Bill Walker.

When the companies urged us to repeal the prior law, it was supposed to mean many new jobs. How has that worked out? Look at the BP building for the answer.

Too many of our legislators depend on oil company contributions to get elected. This makes them unable or unwilling to write a fair tax law.

— Charles Bingham, CPA

Anchorage

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