Representative Andy Josephson

District 17: Midtown, University, & East Anchorage

I Answer to You!

Your Voice in the Alaska House of Representatives

Josephson’s Journal

 

 
Governor Walker’s Fiscal Compromise Plan

     On Monday, June 5, Gov. Walker pitched a plan to bridge the House-Senate gap on special session bills.  The House and Alaskans would do most of the compromising, while the Senate would mostly get their way.

     Several elements of the governor’s plan rob Alaskans of a fair share from our oil.  He would not eliminate the per-barrel credit or increase per-barrel taxes, thus foregoing $95M/year of revenue when oil sells for $55/barrel and $320M/year when it’s priced at $70/barrel.  The Governor, House and Senate all agree on ditching the cash credits we pay oil companies, but the Governor and Senate would redub them “carry-forward losses,” and the state would lose an equivalent amount of income.  In other words, “Change the name but pay the same.”  

Other odious elements in the Governor’s plan:

M His regressive would Education Tax leave a deficit of several hundred million dollars a year, while requiring a poor Alaskan to pay a larger percentage of his/her income than a rich one would.

M His Permanent Fund restructuring would pay $1,000 PFDs vs. the House’s $1,250. 

M He would pay down $325 million—almost $1 million per day—in oil tax credits without first having a full fiscal plan in place, even though law does not require the state to pay cash for these!

Oil Tax & Credits Conference Committee

      Alaska will be $2 billion better off over the next decade if Rep. Tarr, Senator Olson, and I prevail in the conference committee that began negotiations June 8 to resolve differences between the House and Senate versions of this bill.  The Senate bill lets oil companies carry forward losses—what they spent to explore and develop a field— and use them at any time to defray any state tax, fee, interest, or penalty.  The House bill lets companies use losses to offset taxes only on the field where the company spent money, and only after that field produces oil.

     The House bill eliminates the per-barrel credit and increases some tax rates to garner $100-300 million a year when oil is selling for $50-100 per barrel.  Both bills would change interest on delinquent oil taxes from simple to compound, but the Senate would leave the rate at Federal Reserve plus 3%, while ours would raise the plus factor to 7%.  Both bills end cashable credits for North Slope operators.

Safer Streets, Greener City

On the evening of June 7th, my staff attended the Public Meeting on Bike & Pedestrian Safety hosted by AFACT (Anchorage Faith & Action • Congregations Together) at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church.

With a turnout of over 125 concerned citizens, there was plenty of great public testimony, from stories of vehicular collisions, to suggestions for improved trail signs, to calls for more community education and outreach.

Katie Dougherty (Vision Zero), left, and Marla Thompson (DMV), middle, address a crowd of about 125 citizens; Travis Montgomery, right, chaired the session.The notable guests included Marla Thompson from the Alaska DMV and Katie Dougherty from Anchorage’s Vision Zero. Marla agreed to update the AK Driver’s Manual to include more safety information on bike commuters, and incorporate this information into questions on the Driver’s Exam. She also made an open request for tips & tricks to add to DMV waiting area slideshows to promote biker and pedestrian safety. Katie informed us that steps are underway to re-fund the program Be Safe, Be Seen, which focuses on bike safety for school-age youth.

The chairs of this meeting, Dennis Hanrahan and Karol Libbey, will be following up with Marla and Katie next month.

Alpine Apartments Shooting

Our prayers go out to Deborah Walunga (a 20-year-old resident of District 17) and her family. Deborah is fighting for her life in the hospital after being shot and critically wounded in the early hours of Saturday, June 3, while in her apartment. This is a tragic and senseless act of violence in our district.

The full story can be found on KTVA.

Please Contact Me!

State Capitol Bldg, Room 102

Juneau, AK 99801

(907) 465--4939

(800) 465-4939

Contact Other Elected Officials

Governor Bill Walker

907-269-7450

Email

Senator Dan Sullivan

907-271-5915

Email

Senator Lisa Murkowski

907-271-3735

Email

Congressman Don Young

907-271-5978

Email

Write a Letter to the Editor

Submit your 175 word letter to the Alaska Dispatch News, attn: letters to the editor

email: letters@alaskadispatch.com; fax: 907-258-2157

Footer Photo Credit: www.turnagainphotography.files.wordpress.com