Democrats: Today’s Resources Build Tomorrow’s Opportunity; Democratic Response to the State of the State shows vision for Alaska

JUNEAU – In her response to the governor’s state of the state speech tonight, House Democratic Leader Beth Kerttula (Juneau) told Alaskans that Alaska must use today’s resources to build tomorrow’s future.

“You’ve elected us to lead, and it’s our job to lead in a way that honors Alaska’s courageous spirit by using today’s resources to build tomorrow’s opportunities,” said Rep. Kerttula.

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Democrats Propose Student Loan Relief; Measure to cut interest rates for Alaskans who put their training to work in Alaska

JUNEAU – Today, Representative Les Gara (D-Anchorage) and Representative David Guttenberg (D-Fairbanks) announced that they have pre-filed a bill to reduce the cost of student loans for Alaskans who put their training to work in Alaska.

“For Alaska to be competitive, we need to make sure our workforce gets the training it needs and that our students put their skills to work in Alaska,” said Rep. Guttenberg. “This bill makes it easier for Alaskans to stay here or return to help build our state.”

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Monday, Noon: Gara To Tell Anchorage Chamber Guv’s Oil Giveaway Must Give Way To Better Plan That Will Work.

On Monday Rep. Les Gara will present to an audience that hasn’t heard the other side of the story on Governor Parnell’s oil tax bill: That it gives away billions, with no tangible benefit to Alaskans. The presentation at the Chamber’s Make it Monday forum will be at noon at the Dena’ina Convention Center in Anchorage.

“Last time we lowered taxes on oil companies, we had declining production, companies took their profits out of state, and we had 40% less investment and 40% percent fewer jobs. The Governor’s plan is more of the same corporate welfare. Rather than tell companies they can take his $1.8 billion in tax reductions out of state, which his plan allows, we should allow tax credits only if companies spend in Alaska on new exploration and new production,” said Gara, whose HB 231 includes those provisions.

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[Sen. French] BP Withholds Oil Pipeline Evidence; Credibility in Oil Tax Debate Questioned

ANCHORAGE- Two Anchorage legislators today pointed to findings in the recent court decision issued by Superior Court Judge Sharon Gleason that BP has withheld evidence in that case as undermining that company’s credibility in the ongoing debate over oil taxes. The judge’s ruling was issued December 30, 2011, in a case related to the value of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System(TAPS). The 213-page document settled a dispute over the 2007-2009 property taxes that TAPS must pay to municipalities whose property the pipeline crosses. In setting the value of the pipeline for property tax purposes, the judge had to calculate the life of the pipeline in order to correctly arrive at the right figure for depreciation. That ‘end of life’ calculation in turn requires a ‘minimum throughput determination’ – an estimation of the lowest level of throughput that can be transported through the pipeline.

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