Tax oil, not people

Posted: Tuesday, April 20, 2004

In the limited 225-word, unsigned opinion piece (Published Anchorage Daily News, April 16, 2004) headed "Push begins for POMV," you write: "Alaskans are unlikely to enjoy a healthy political climate until they banish the idea that services come for free; they never do. And economic incentives will work against growth until some broad-based tax recaptures the public costs that come with it. But the Legislature is too lost in reaction and right-wing ideology even to discuss a rational progressive income tax."

All Alaskans know that public services do not come for free. It is just a question of who pays for them. The wealth of Alaska is in its resources. Those who profit from those resources are the companies who need to be taxed to pay for them. A 50-percent additional "windfall" tax on oil profits when oil is above $25 a barrel is not unreasonable, but our Legislature and governor are incapable of leadership on behalf of all Alaskans. Meanwhile Rome/Anchorage burns.

The question now is whether to accept part of a solution with POMV. The answer: a definite no. No new taxes on the people. Tax the oil companies. Cease giving away our resource wealth and restore the longevity bonus.

John J. Kiernan


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