Take from oil, not permanent fund

Posted: Wednesday, April 07, 2004

President Putin has just increased Russia's oil tax to 60 percent. Nigeria's oil tax is 85 percent. Do you think that the sheiks of Kuwait or Saudi Arabia tax any less than 85 percent? Why should they when they too are owner states? Consider that total U.S. corporate tax is only 35 percent, and with our royalty fees of 12.5 percent, oil producers in Alaska have a total production tax of only 47.5 percent. There is room here to increase our royalties to 20 percent, making a total production tax just 55 percent in Alaska. That's still 5 percent below Russia's. How much more of a tax advantage do we need to give away? Let windfall profit taxes blow toward Alaska. With oil at $38 a barrel and rising, shame on our leadership for doing nothing to rake in some of that oil wealth to Alaska's coffers. They are too busy trying to raid the permanent fund so that they can continue to line the pockets of the oil barons. Or else their priorities would have been to bring home the bacon for the benefit of all Alaskans. Their actions speak louder than their words.

John J. Kiernan

Anchorage



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