FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Residents of the Fairbanks North Star Borough will vote on whether to impose a fuel transfer tax to reduce property taxes.
The borough clerk on Wednesday certified the signatures needed to bring the issue to a vote. A special election is set for June 25.
A citizens group called A Bright Future for Fairbanks is behind the proposed tax. They say a fuel transfer tax would bring in $24 million -- enough to reduce property taxes by 40 percent. The borough's current tax structure has property owners bearing most of the borough's tax burden.
''Property owners have been asking for relief for years,'' said Merrick Peirce, a spokesman for the group.
Williams Alaska and the Alaska Oil Marketers Association oppose the measure. They say it's unfair to target one industry. They also say state law prohibits a tax on many kinds of fuel, including jet fuel and heating oil.
Advocates of the tax dispute that. They expect most of the proceeds from the new tax will come from jet fuel Williams Alaska sells in Anchorage.
Williams Alaska is one of two North Pole refineries. Petro Star Inc. also operates a refinery. A spokesman for Petro Star could not be reached.
The Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly and the Fairbanks City Council have not taken a position on the proposed tax.
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