Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Constituent Meeting November 10th

Representative Coghill will be holding a constituent meeting Saturday, November 10th at North Pole City Hall from 10:00 a.m. to Noon. He would like to discuss the current special session addressing petroleum production taxes and make time for questions and comments from his constituents in the North Pole area on any subject.

The ACES, Alaska's Clear and Equitable Share, Bills in each house are in the last committee of referral, the Finance Committee, and will not doubt end up in a conference committee to sort out the differences between the Senate and the House versions of the bill.

The following is an email Representative Coghill sent to some constituents that asked his opinion on the Governor's bill:

Lately, and with good reason, many constituents have asked me how I feel about the Governor’s new tax plan for the oil companies, as well as what I believe is the best solution to the natural resources issue before us now. Without getting into the mundane details and numbers, I will try to answer your questions the best I can.

I am not a fan of taxing just so we can redistribute wealth throughout the population. However, as part of the statehood compact the resources of the state were given to us by Congress so that we could afford to govern ourselves, therefore we must get the best value for Alaskans from our resource base.

The PPT debate has three dimensions: 1.) To bring all the debate out in to the open and take a look at the substance without a cloud of corruption 2.) Rethink what is a fair share for Alaska from her resources 3.) To encourage exploration for new fields and also to get heavy oil from older fields.

I should mention that we get money from the oil and gas resources from several different ways*:
* Property Tax - $54.5 Million

* Corporate Petroleum Tax - $661.1 Million

* Production Tax - $1.2 Billion

* Royalties (including Bonuses, Rents & Interests) - $1.8 Billion

*Figures taken from Dept. of Revenue FY 2006

In contrast, other revenue generated in Alaska amounts to about $450 Million per year.

My position on this bill is generally in favor of it. I like the Governor’s tax rate, but I am not a supporter of the 10% floor rate for legacy fields mostly because of the need to get the heavy oil out. I like the audit provisions that help us verify investment and expenses and I favor the progressivity that gets Alaska a greater share when the prices go higher.

Representative Coghill discusses ACES with Steve Quinn from the Associated Press.