I don’t know about other Alaskans, but I will be voting against Proposition No. 1 on Nov. 3. Frankly, I cannot separate fact from fiction in this debate. Each side tries to bury us in mountains of data, promises and threats. My main reason for voting against the proposition is that we have changed the oil industry taxation system about eight or nine times in 15 or 16 years. That is insane.
It just doesn’t provide a stable mutually beneficial working relationship with the industry. Even though we are experiencing hard times, this is the worst possible time to change the taxation system again. This issue is complex and if you are as confused as I am, vote to have this issue settled by the legislature and not by the ballot box.
As we look to new and expanded oil development in Alaska, especially Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and the economic benefits, I suggest we give the Legislature and the industry a couple more years to hash this out. If a mutually agreeable solution isn’t found, I might consider another vote by the people.