Locals asked to support 'Vote No'

Attendees of the joint Kenai and Soldotna Chambers luncheon heard a presentation urging them to join the Vote No on 1 coalition Wednesday.

Danny Bookey, general manager at Petroleum Equipment and Services Inc. delivered a presentation drafted by Al Hull, vice president of PESI and Kenai chapter president for The Alliance, on why Alaskans should support Senate Bill 21.

SB21 took effect on Jan. 1, and Bookey said, is already working to reverse Alaska’s decline in oil production.

“The old tax structure known as (Alaska’s Clear and Equitable Share) is the major culprit (of the decline),” Bookey said.

The Alaska Legislature passed ACES into law in 2007, which Bookey said, was the most complicated oil tax law in the country with the highest rates.

“It did not increase production,” he said. “It chilled the investment climate.”

SB21 eliminates punitive and progressive taxes, increases the base rate by 10 percent, reduces complexity and provides investment incentives, he said.

Voters will face Measure 1 asking them if they want to repeal SB21 on the August primary ballot.

He said supporters of the repeal are believed to not know the facts of the tax reform.

In fiscal year 2015, Bookey said, the SB21 tax system will bring in more tax revenue than ACES.

He said SB21 is working with producers announcing investments and projected spending of $10 billion in the next 10 years.

“Oil tax reform fixed a failed structure,” he said.

— Staff report

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