We Alaskans think of ourselves as strong, resourceful, and independent. If so, why in the past five years has Alaska been receiving a 12.5% royalty for its oil? That is only half of the amount that Texas and other major reserves in the US receive. In addition, Alaska is receiving a tax of only approximately one-third of 1% that the major producers have received from the sale of our non-royalty oil.
Oil producers have made more money from our oil and paid Alaskans less for it than they do anywhere else in the world. Why are we paying the oil producers more in credits to produce our oil than they have paid us in production taxes? We allow this to happen. The More Production Now Act, SB21, has enriched Big Oil and their shareholders while we have exhausted our savings, reduced the PFD, cut the budget of schools, the University, the Marine Highway, and so on.
All this continues today amid a barrage of “OneAlaska” ads while the citizens of Alaska are dealing with a pandemic. The ads say that “this is not the time to raise taxes”. Well, if you are Big Oil it is never the time to raise taxes. As of May 7, 2020, oil producers and their supporters are reported to have spent $440,000 for the ads that they hope will maintain the status quo. They will spend a lot more before election day.
Don’t be stupid and allow the current tax structure to continue to take our non-renewable resources for next to nothing. Be smart and vote “YES” for The Alaska Fair Share Act.