Opinion: Is Alaska receiving its fair share?

Our elected officials have failed us.

Our elected officials have failed us. The governor’s proposed cuts are unnecessary if the state received its fair share as envisioned by former Gov. Jay Hammond.

It is past time to come together and address the blatant inequity of our oil tax structure.

The Alaska Constitution states: “The Legislature shall provide for the utilization, development, and conservation of all natural resources belonging to the State, including land and waters, for the maximum benefit of its people.”

[Opinion: Day of recokoning for Alaska’s budget has arrived]

Alaska was financially independent until the effects of the oil tax laws changed in 2013, resulting in the state receiving only 4 percent of oil revenue instead of the 22 percent average received from 2009-2014.

Alaska’s 2017 tax revenue share on 167 million barrels of oil was 80 cents per barrel. 80 cents!

If Alaska continues to receive only 4 percent of oil revenue, it will receive $500 million per year for the next 10 years. Oil corporations will receive $5 billion per year. A fair share?

[Alaskans weigh-in on ‘super-sized’ PFD]

In a 1981 bipartisan statement with Senate and House leadership, Gov. Hammond stated that a fair share of our oil resource “… should not be less than 30 percent.”

In 2011, “Diapering the Devil” Hammond stated: “Oil taxes should be adjusted to redeem the states initially agreed upon one-third share. Only then should user fees or a broad based sales or income tax be imposed if we lack sufficient revenues to fund essential government programs.”

Why are we not receiving our fair share?

David Quisenberry,


• My Turns and Letters to the Editor represent the view of the author, not the view of the Juneau Empire.