Alaska Supreme Court dismisses lawsuit against oil-tax initiative

The Alaska Supreme Court, upholding a lower court ruling, dismissed a lawsuit against the oil tax ballot measure scheduled for a vote Nov. 3.

The two-paragraph order issued Monday did not explain the reasons for dismissal. It said only that after hearing oral arguments last week, the justices would uphold a Superior Court order dismissing the case.

The ruling means the measure, which would increase taxes on select North Slope oil fields, will be on the ballot in November.

The Resource Development Council, Alaska Chamber of Commerce and four other plaintiffs had argued that the Alaska Division of Elections improperly approved the measure because some signature-gatherers were paid more than allowed by state law.

They asked courts to throw out signatures collected by those paid gatherers.

In July, Anchorage Superior Court Judge Thomas Matthews said the state law limiting payments is unconstitutional. In addition, he said that discarding signatures would disregard the rights of voters.

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James Brooks

James Brooks was a Juneau-based reporter for the ADN from 2018 to May 2022.