Homer Alaska - Letters

Story last updated at 5:21 PM on Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Alaska does not have highest oil tax

The Alaska Oil and Gas Association, or AOGA, has been running ads stating Alaska has the highest oil tax in North America. Texas and Alaska are tied for fourth and fifth place among North American oil tax regimes. AOGAs statement is false and they know it, but theyre seldom confronted so they do it anyway.

According to the U.S. Department of Interior, the worldwide average tax on a barrel of oil is $79 and Alaskas oil tax is 3 percent below the international average. (For confirmation, google: Average Government Take, PI, and IRR Indicator and view pages 60 and 62 of the government report.)

BP produces Iraqs largest oil field and Iraq pays BP less than $2 per barrel for the service. BP, Exxon and Conoco report making ten times as much profit for producing Alaskas oil and they complain. Why would any Alaskan believe an industry that has been repeatedly caught lying about oil taxes and repeatedly caught bribing legislators to lower them?

Ten years ago, there were over a million barrels per day coming through the pipeline but, because Alaskas tax on oil was a tiny fraction of the worlds norm, Alaskas budget was in the red. In 1999, to head off looming deficits, deficits that might have caused Alaskans to demand their fair share, Veco spent over $700,000 on advertising, a proposal to tap your PFD and shackle you with an income tax.

Accepting that we started getting our fair share in 2007, not much has changed. Many of the people who hit the speaking trail for Veco then, are hitting the speaking trail for Parnell today. Lower taxes didnt work then and it wont work today. If you value your PFD, and dont want to be hit with a big fat tax, you better be asking your candidates where they are getting their money and where they stand on this issue.

Ray Metcalfe, chairman

Citizens for Ethical Government Inc.

P.O. Box 231007 Anchorage, AK 99523