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Letters to the Editor

Letter: Informed oil tax decisions

  • Author: Alex and Peggy Wertheimer
    | Opinion
  • Updated: October 5
  • Published October 5

We are voting yes on Ballot Measure 1, Alaska’s Fair Share Act. The act only affects the three largest oil fields in the state; it does not change how new production is taxed.

The oil companies are spending millions to try to convince us that they should continue to make more profits and pay less production and royalty taxes on these fields than they do in the Lower 48 and anywhere else in the world with major reserves. They argue that the issue is too complicated for voters to decide, and should be left to the Legislature.

Unfortunately, it was the Legislature that gave us SB21, citing promises by the oil companies of higher production, higher state revenues, and economic growth in Alaska. These promises have proved false; production has not increased, jobs have decreased, and budget cuts due to decreased revenues have helped spin the state into recession. It is also the Legislature that has spent down our state savings account without putting forth any solutions for the dwindling State revenue stream that is driving us off a fiscal cliff.

The act will not solve the state’s revenue shortfall by itself. But it would still bring in hundreds of millions of dollars relative to current tax structure, money that can be used to support education, the troopers, health care and other essential services. Let us show the oil companies that Alaskans can make informed decisions to keep Alaska’s fair share. Vote yes on Ballot Measure 1.

— Alex and Peggy Wertheimer

Juneau

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