If recently passed legislation to cut taxes on oil companies doing business in Alaska is not repealed by voters, you can say goodbye to annual Permanent Fund dividends and hello to a state income tax.
The money Senate Bill 21 gives back to BP, ConocoPhillips, and Exxon Mobil Corp. will leave Alaska with about the same amount of income from oil revenues that the state treasury had to spend back in 2002, when voters were choosing a new governor and the primary issue was discontinuation of dividends and resurrection of a state tax on income.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the average tax countries around the world charged for taking a barrel of oil is about 79 percent of the cash remaining for distribution between oil companies and governments — after all expenses of production and delivery for that barrel have been deducted from its sale proceeds and paid. By the Energy Department’s calculation, take-home profits for companies like BP, ConocoPhillips, and Exxon average about 21 percent of what’s left over after expenses.
Two recent news items out of Norway caught my attention. The first happened April 30th when Governor Parnell went there to discuss tax policy. The second was the announcement on May 6th that Norway had decided to make a change to its oil tax laws.
Now, I don’t know whether the governor was responsible for the May 6th tax change. But I like to imagine that the Norwegians listened very carefully to the governor’s reasons for lowering taxes here. Being the sober and meticulous people they are, they ran a complex cost-benefit economic analysis on his ideas. They studied the results and then came to a reasoned decision. To raise taxes.
With Homer smelling a little sweeter now than it did just a few weeks ago, it’s a sure sign that summer is just around the corner – despite the cold weather, snow flurries, hail and rain.
I think of summer here as if I was on vacation. After all, it lasts about the same length of time – maybe 2-3 weeks. And, while it’s certainly easy to take all Homer has to offer for granted, what if you decided to wake up everyday and think, “I’m on vacation.” You might just find yourself enjoying the Cosmic Hamlet summer to its fullest.
Sixteen borough residents formed a committee to promote the Better Elections Initiative. The purpose for this initiative is to implement a better voting system for Kenai Peninsula Borough residents that include “Vote by Mail” with a “Ranked Choice Voting” provision. The ballot initiative was filed at the borough clerk’s office on May 10.
“These changes will promote greater voter turnout, provide more opportunity for voters to make an informed decision at each borough election and will save our borough money,” said Fred Sturman, Initiative co-sponsor.
As I bike around town I am thrilled to see indications that momentum is building for Homer to become a healthier community. Many of our local individuals, businesses and organizations are devoting energy and resources through various collaborations and projects which offer opportunities to develop and participate in active, healthy lifestyle choices. There are way too many to list them all here; a partial list of newcomers includes Kachemak Bay Running Club, Alaska Training Room, Seldovia Village Tribe Health Center’s Thriving Thursdays, Homer Playground Project and many successes that originated in MAPP.
Spit trail trashed I myself do not normally make a practice of writing letters to the editor, but I feel, that this subject should be addressed. The subject that I am talking about is the constant and never ending abundance of trash on the Homer Spit trail. I go for a daily walk on the […]
Win a Harley For their seventh-annual Harley Davidson motorcycle raffle, the Kachemak Bay Lions members are requesting that communities help raising much-needed funds by buying a raffle ticket. Only 399 tickets will be sold. They can be purchased for $100 during business hours at several locations around town, including Scruggs’s Automotive and Homer Insurance Center. […]
There has been some controversy in our community about riparian buffers, which would extend protection to freshwater salmon habitat. As an Alaskan, I regard salmon to be an iconic embodiment of ourselves. Heroic in their persistence, stamina, and determination – salmon reflect the qualities we value as a people.
Riparian buffers are vegetated areas near a stream, river, or lake that protect water quality and assist with temperature regulation, while mitigating impacts of adjacent land uses. Riparian buffers act to intercept sediment, nutrients, pesticides, and other materials in surface runoff.
The annual Kachemak Bay Shore Bird Festival arrives along with Mother’s Day, a coincidental pairing of events that somehow ought to go together. Just as winter is walking away – not fast enough this particular spring – in comes a season of the migrations. Our visitors have endured lengthy flights from thousands of miles. Their […]
Imagine this headline: “House of Representatives approves proposal for guaranteed annual income by wide margin.” The passage of that kind of social welfare measure sounds wholly implausible today, but, in fact, the House did pass such a bill in April of 1970 by a vote of 243 to 155. The measure, The New York Times reported, “establishes for the first time the principle that the government should guarantee every family a minimum annual income.”