Through last month, I wrote a monthly op-ed column on oil, gas and fiscal policy issues for the Alaska Business Monthly. I have suspended that column while some talk about me running for Governor (ABM’s policy understandably is to discontinue any “writings” by formally announced, or potential candidates). In the meantime I am continuing to write a lead monthly article for the blog, called “The Monthly Lead.” This is the first such piece.
With certification this fall by the Division of Elections, the question of whether to repeal Senate Bill (SB) 21 – the oil tax reform enacted and signed by the Governor earlier this year – will be put to a statewide vote next August. The issue on the ballot will be “Should this law [SB 21] be rejected?” A “yes” vote will be to repeal SB 21; a “no” vote will be to retain it.
If SB 21 is rejected, Alaska’s oil tax approach will revert to ACES (Alaska’s Clear and Equitable Share), the state tax policy enacted in 2007, which virtually all legislators last session agreed was in need of reform, although many argued for different approaches.
Retaining SB 21 is the right decision if the Governor and legislature enact needed budget reforms this coming legislative session. This piece explains why. Continue reading