Governor Sean Parnell's oil tax reform bill is facing another round of changes, just weeks after it was altered by the Senate Resources Committee.
On Tuesday, the Senate Finance Committee made several committee substitutes.
"The base rate, we did raise it from 25 percent to where the governor had it to 30 percent," said Finance Co-Chairman Senator Kevin Meyer (R-Anchorage). "But reduced it from 35 where resources had it."
Senate Finance also adjusted the percentage of oil excluded from taxes from 30 to 20 percent for ten years covering all new oil production.
Democrats say simply shifting the burden of proof on what is new oil to the oil companies could cause them to sue if they don't agree with the state's definition.
"When I see broad language allowing DNR commissioners, not regarding any particular commissioner determine what new oil is, that's lazy law, that's letting the courts decide," said House Minority Leader Rep. Beth Kerttula (D-Juneau).
Senator Meyer says the Finance Committee is retaining the five dollar per-barrel credit introduced by the Resources Committee, but will eliminate a competitive review board proposed by resources member Senator Lesil McGuire (R-Anchorage).
"The concern there is we didn't want to give the signal to industry that we have this board that's going to meet every quarter and the tax rates may change based on their recommendation because that could led to a lot of uncertainty," adds Meyer.
A staff member in McGuire's office says they're trying to get that review board item back in the legislation.
Either way, Democrats, who are still waiting for their house version of oil tax reform to get a committee hearing, are not happy with the senate's version.
"I think it's an even bigger give away, added Kerttula. "They've changed the base rate, to be even lower, so we're going to get even less as Alaskans."
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