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Alaska passes new tax bill
On Nov. 16, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin signed legislation that imposes higher taxes on oil and natural gas production in the state despite protests from oil and gas companies. The bill replaces the “Petroleum Profits Tax” passed last year that has since been questioned following an ongoing corruption investigation involving state lawmakers and oil executives. The new tax legislation establishes a base tax rate of 25% of producers’ net revenues from oil and gas production, and when crude oil prices exceed $52/barrel an escalator formula kicks in that raises the tax rate. Palin’s bill is expected to boost state oil and natural gas revenues by $1.5 billion this fiscal year. The governor said that the new tax will maximize the value of the state’s natural resources, adding that Alaska will use the additional revenues responsibly.
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