Alaska group proposes initiative to raise oil industry tax

    Photo credit to Charles Murphy.

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — An Alaska group has filed an application with the state for a ballot initiative asking voters to increase taxes on the oil industry, a report said.

    The proposed Fair Share Act would alter the state's 2014 oil-production tax, The Anchorage Daily News reported.

    The measure could bring in about $1 billion in additional production taxes, the group said.

    "Alaskans should receive their fair share from the sale of our oil," said initiative committee member Robin Brena.

    The application submitted Friday comes as Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy moves to close the $1.6 billion state deficit with large budget cuts, but no new taxes. Dunleavy vetoed line items equaling $444 million in reductions to Alaska's operating budget in June.

    The ballot initiative would apply only to the North Slope's historically large fields in Prudhoe Bay, Kuparuk and Alpine. BP, ConocoPhillips, and ExxonMobil are the major lease-holders at Prudhoe Bay, while ConocoPhillips owns and operates Kuparuk and Alpine.

    The measure would leave the 2014 tax system in place for small and new fields, Brena said.

    "We're trying to help the (smaller) independent companies, and we're certainly trying to not cause harm," Brena said Monday. "The larger, more profitable fields being harvested are in a better position to pay their fair share."

    Brena is an oil and gas attorney who chaired previous Gov. Bill Walker's Transition Subcommittee on Oil and Gas. The committee also includes Jane Angvik, a former Anchorage Assembly chair, and Merrick Peirce, a former Alaska Gasline Port Authority chief executive.

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