FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Democrats: Let’s Get Something for Oil Tax Breaks
House Democrats offer amendments to require more development, disclosure
JUNEAU – Today, House Democrats offered a series of amendments to Governor Parnell’s oil tax giveaway designed to make sure Alaskans get the exploration, production and jobs Alaska needs on the North Slope in return for lowering oil taxes.
Rep. Bob Miller (D-Fairbanks) introduced an amendment that would allow oil companies to get the governor’s proposed tax breaks until January 1, 2017. After that, companies would have to have increased their production ten percent over current levels in order to continue receiving the lower tax rates. For each year after, a company would have to increase its production two percent each year to keep the lower rates. Companies not increasing production in any given year would not get the breaks in the governor’s bill for that year.
“We want to be sure that they are earning the breaks that we are giving,” said Rep. Miller. “This amendment says here’s the benefit. If you do not make certain metrics for the benefit of Alaska, we withdraw those benefits.”
The amendment failed 13-24 with two members of the House Majority joining House Democrats in support.
Rep. Berta Gardner introduced an amendment to require companies asking for tax credits for investments to tell the public what they did to earn the investments.
“This is the ‘tell us what we’ve bought’ amendment,” said Rep. Gardner. “Who got credits, how much were the credits, and what did they do to earn those credits. This is what we are buying, and I think that Alaskans will broadly support that it should be available to us.”
Rep. Mike Doogan offered an amendment to sunset the whole bill at the end of 2014, roughly the same amount of time the legislature gave ACES to work before revisiting it.
“If we don’t do this [amendment] we’re just going to give oil companies a lot of money for a long, long time,” said Rep. Doogan.
Both Rep. Doogan and Rep. Gardner’s amendments failed along caucus lines.
In order to target the bill to get more oil, Rep. Les Gara offered an amendment to increase the exploration tax credits in the bill and remove the rest of the governor’s tax breaks. That amendment was still under debate when the House recessed until 5:00pm.
While debating Rep. Miller’s amendment, Rep. Gara summed up the theme of the Democrats’ amendments:
“There’s a common theme in the amendments from members from our side of the aisle. If we’re going to give you state money, we want to see jobs, exploration, production facilities and oil in the pipeline.”
Press Secretary, House Democratic Caucus
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