A tax law to encourage earlier drilling

Posted: Thursday, March 31, 2011

Elected officials are arguing about how much of Alaskans' future revenues to give the oil companies in hopes they will start drilling again. That seems like living on a homestead and occasionally killing a few sheep to re-bait the trap hoping it will attract the wolves. Eventually you end up with no sheep.

Perhaps the legislature should consider a decreasing tax break bill. The bill might read something like this: those who begin new drilling in 2012 will get a (identify a percentage) break in oil taxes; those who begin drilling in 2013 will get (identify a smaller percentage tax break than in 2012); and those who begin drilling in 2014 and years following will get (identify an even smaller tax break than offered in 2012 or 2013). This way oil companies will have incentive to begin drilling earlier.

The tax break requested by the governor is nothing more than a gamble, and a poor one at that. At least this idea would give our side of the table better odds.

Dean Hill, Sterling

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