Alaska rejects return to Palin-backed oil tax, early votes show

8/20/2014

Alaska rejects return to Palin-backed oil tax, early votes show

JIM POLSON

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Bloomberg) -- Alaskans are set to reject former Governor Sarah Palin’s sliding tax scale for oil production with early voting pointing to retaining a law that sets a flat rate in an effort to arrest declining output from the North Slope.

The referendum to repeal Governor Sean Parnell’s 35% tax rate was failing by 51.85%, according to the State of Alaska Division of Elections website with 27.9% of votes counted. Palin had campaigned in favor of repealing the law, supporting a return to her 2007 tax plan, which instituted a sliding rate scale that ranged from 25% to 75%, based on oil prices.

The oil company tax is “the most pressing economic issue facing our state,” Parnell, a Republican, wrote in an Aug. 16 op-ed in the Alaska Dispatch News. The prior approach’s “uncompetitive structure led to Alaska losing out on investment dollars and jobs to other places like North Dakota and Texas.”

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