Governor needs to straighten out tax mess

Posted: Wednesday, October 24, 2007

An oil company ad said Alaska has the highest petroleum tax in North America. I felt r-e-a-l bad.

Then I attended Gov. Palin's info opportunity at the Challenger Learning Center of Alaska and learned how oil company tax checks were less than expected by state revenue head-scratchers.

I happened to think how fond the oil giants were of hanky-panky Frank. Didn't he shepherd the current tax to our planet? An 800 percent rise in crude prices since 1998 flitted through my mind, as did the commodious price of salmon in the same time frame. Exxon, the outfit with the double cross in its name, flared up in my imagination. And too, my wood stove installation, necessitated because burning wadded up dollar bills is cheaper than buying diesel.

I read a quote from state Reps. Les Gara and Harry Crawford: "Exxon, ConocoPhillips and British Petroleum earn higher profit margins in Alaska than almost anywhere else in the world." They cite ConocoPhillips 2006 annual report as the source of that mind-bender and go on to say, "Conoco's profit margins are higher in Alaska than they are in Africa, Russia, the Middle East, Europe, the Lower 48 and Canada."

Now I hope the Sarah era will end up straightening out a tax more crooked than a can of worms.

Brent Johnson

Clam Gulch

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