My Turn: Stay optimistic, vote no on 1

The Keep Alaska Competitive Coalition — Vote No on 1 group has taken its message on the road in an effort to cut through the clutter and deliver our message directly to the voters.

Dozens of trucks now sport decals that read: “Vote No on 1 … For our families … Our Jobs … For Alaska.”

Alaskans paid for the truck decals, along with 1,800 smaller signs, because we believe Ballot Measure 1 is the most important vote Alaskans have faced in decades. We understand all too well that oil tax reform is an Alaska issue, not an oil company issue.

The oil industry tax base pays for 90 percent of Alaska’s general fund to operate the government. It’s the source of revenue for our Permanent Fund, supports our civic groups and employs directly or indirectly half of all Alaskans. It means Alaskans pay no state sales tax or a state income tax.

Oil companies invest wherever they can make the highest profit on their investment. That’s their responsibility to their shareholders. They will invest in Alaska only if it provides a greater financial return than investments in other places like North Dakota, Texas, California or Indonesia. Reasonable and competitive tax rates are necessary if we are to attract investment in Alaska to reverse the decline in oil production.

Our choices as Alaskans are not so clear. We live here. We have jobs here. We own homes here. We want a future for our kids and grandkids. Where do we go if Alaska oil production drops to the point that the pipeline is abandoned? We can leave Alaska and build our future elsewhere, but that’s not what we want.

That’s why I’m voting no on 1 and spending so much of my time with the “Keep Alaska Competitive – Vote No on 1” campaign. Our supporters consist of thousands of Alaskans who understand the importance of stopping the oil production decline. We are not the oil industry — and we accept no funding from the oil industry.

For three years, our predecessor group, the Make Alaska Competitive Coalition, worked hard on oil tax reform to encourage more production. Even the most ardent opponent of oil tax reform agreed then — and agrees today — that the old system called “ACES” was broken and needed to be fixed. Some of these same people controlled the state senate and spent two years failing to fix a tax scheme that caused Alaska to miss out on the great energy renaissance that swept the nation. It is totally illogical and inappropriate to return to ACES and its proven failure.

SB 21 is working. Already the production decline has almost stopped, new projects are underway and there is renewed optimism on the North Slope. Alaskans should give this new tax policy a chance to prove itself, especially when we all agree that the old oil tax policy was a flop. And if SB 21 doesn’t deliver — if the oil industry does not invest as planned — we can readjust our taxes at any time.

Alaska has a very bright economic future “if” we provide reasonable and competitive taxes and support our petroleum industry. Be sure and vote August 19 — and vote no on 1.

• Jim Jansen is chairman of Lynden and co-chair of Keep Alaska Competitive – Vote No on 1.


Mon, 02/27/2017 - 08:37

Rich Moniak: Presidential lies that matter

President Donald Trump did not have “the biggest electoral college win since Ronald Reagan” as he said during his first press conference last week. The fact that he’s wrong doesn’t justify calling him a liar though. It’s an insignificant statement. But like his predecessors, it should serve as a warning that, whenever it serves his own interests, Trump will discard the truth on serious matters.

Read more
Mon, 02/27/2017 - 10:20

Letter: State senator’s form letter full of misinformation on Planned Parenthood

I have been in correspondence with my Senator, Dan Sullivan. I was able to let him know by email that I want him to continue support of Planned Parenthood federally and locally. I am disheartened by the form letter I received from him. His letter was full of misinformation that reflected/used the words that pro-life organizations do. If he is going to write back to his constituents, he should use language that shows he is aware of what the laws are and how funding really works. Read more

Mon, 02/27/2017 - 08:32

My Turn: Gov. Walker shouldn’t fleece taxpayers while cutting budget

Gov. Bill Walker, you should be ashamed of yourself for stooping so low to even consider further fleecing the very taxpayer who supports a lot of this so-called government, especially since you already took 50% of the permanent fund as another form of tax to support your already top-heavy bureaucracy that never seems to get or have enough to spend.

Read more
Mon, 02/27/2017 - 08:31

ANWR: Let it be

Nearly 20 years ago historian Stephen Ambrose visited Juneau as part of the Alaska Humanities Forum. The author of “Undaunted Courage,” “Citizen Soldiers” and other bestselling books, Ambrose said the last century had been darkened by world wars. But overall the century’s theme was inspiring: democracy prevailed over totalitarianism.

Read more


  • Switchboard: 907-586-3740
  • Circulation and Delivery: 907-586-3740
  • Newsroom Fax: 907-586-9097
  • Business Fax: 907-586-9097
  • Accounts Receivable: 907-523-2230
  • View the Staff Directory
  • or Send feedback