Senate Passes Oil Tax Bill

Final Vote 11-9

Sen. Pete Kelly, R-Fairbanks, left, speaks with Sen. Bill Wielechowski during a break on the Senate floor on Tuesday, March 19, 2013, in Juneau, Alaska. Wielechowski, D-Anchorage, and other minority members asked questions about differences between different versions of the proposed oil tax overhaul. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer)

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by Your Alaska Link News Team

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - A divided Alaska Senate has passed an overhaul of Alaska's oil tax structure.

Supporters say the bill will make Alaska more competitive and lead to more investment. Critics call it a giveaway with no assurances Alaska will see anything in return.

Just one amendment of more than a dozen passed. It was a majority-backed proposal that would raise the base tax rate from the current 25 percent to 35 percent.

The bill up for debate had proposed a 35 percent tax rate through 2016, after which it would be 33 percent. Some senators felt more comfortable with the higher rate, seeing it as competitive while reducing the overall fiscal impact of the bill.

The 11-9 vote followed hours of debate. Reconsideration was served, meaning it could be voted on again.

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Dan said on Thursday, Mar 21 at 3:52 PM

How much in taxes do we really need? Government cost and spending are the real elephants in the room. We passed the point of being ridiculous more than a decade ago. Half of government is wasted money and we don't have the money to waste.

rgb30b said on Sunday, Mar 24 at 2:26 PM

You're right Dan, we've entered the realm of "its too absurd to believe, but it is" era!

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