Reaction to Ballot Measure One Result


by Marissa Silver

Anchorage, AK - The votes were close, but "Vote No" has won out over "Vote Yes" in the decision on Senate Bill 21.

In the end, it came down to 6,880 votes. For most of Tuesday, Senate Bill 21 was close, but ultimately voters decided not to repeal the Oil Tax Referendum.
And Wednesday, both sides shared their opinions of the results.
"The people voted, I have to respect that, they were misled I think by 15 million dollars of misleading Ads," said State Representative Les Gara.
"We're really happy with the results all along I predicted that Alaskans would recognize that the system we put in place is a fair one for Alaskans, that it's competitive and we're already starting to see new investment," State Senator Lesil McGuire said.
State Senator McGuire who was part of the "Vote No" campaign, says she helped work on Ballot Measure One for the past three years and feels this is the best system for Alaska.
"I believe this is the fair, right balance for Alaska, it's still the second highest tax on industry that we've ever had, so Alaskans are getting more than their fair share, the difference is if, we want to grow our Permanent Fund, we want to go into the next generation's' benefit of wealth we have to look at production and so this is the tax code that does it," said McGuire.
However, State Representative Les Gara believes the opposite will happen.
"What the state predicts is a drop in revenue under SB 21, a drop in production under SB 21, I think folks are going to start grabbing at the Permanent Fund Dividend, I'm not going to be happy about that, they're going to start talking about an income tax, I'm not going to be happy about that and I think the public is going to have to take another look if the oil company promises don't turn out to be true," Gara said.
As for the next step...
"We will meet with the Competitiveness Review Board, we'll get our first report from them, we want to find out how much progress is being made in production," said McGuire.
Senator McGuire says she is glad Ballot Measure One did not get repealed, now lawmakers will have time to see if it will work as the Measure is less than a year old.