Why give tax breaks to oil companies?

Letter to the editor

Posted: Friday, May 16, 2003

After months of asking all Alaskans to tighten their belts, "we'll save money by eliminate the Longevity Bonus Program," "cut funding for substance abuse programs." "sales tax," "no cost of living increase for employees," etc., it is obscene to see a multimillion-dollar giveaway to multi-national oil companies zipping through Senate.

The oil companies are in the business of finding oil and they are going to find it or eventually go out of business regardless of whether the state gives the oil companies the millions of dollars they are trying to squeeze out of us.

Maybe we could stomach this legislation if it was written to make the state an investor in the exploration process via the severance tax. If Alaskans are to assume 20 percent or 40 percent of the risk, shouldn't we be entitled to 20 percent or 40 percent of the profits?

Michael Lavering


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