Alaskans try courting oil investors

April 15, 2013 at 9:40 AM

JUNEAU, Alaska, April 15 (UPI) -- Reforming Alaska's tax laws will encourage investors to look at the state's oil reserve potential, members of the Alaskan House of Representatives said.

The Republican-led House late Sunday voted 27-12 to send a tax measure back to the state Senate. Their version of Gov. Sean Parnell's oil tax reform bill, referred to as Senate Bill 21, called for an $8 per barrel tax credit. It includes a gross revenue exclusion that would tax producers on only 80 percent of new oil.

Alaska House Speaker Mike Chenault, R-Nikiski, said existing policies have left the Trans-Alaska oil pipeline nearly empty.

"Alaskans need to know that 90 percent of our state's revenues come from oil and if we don't act now, make our state more competitive, the cuts in services and loss in the quality of life we've come to appreciate will take an even more drastic hit," he said in a statement.

Critics of the measure say it's a handout to oil companies working in the state and offers no sure-fire plans to fill the state oil pipeline.

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