by Ted Land
Thursday, April 1, 2010
JUNEAU, Alaska -- The state Senate voted Thursday to de-couple oil and gas taxes.
The lawmakers who crafted the bill are concerned that a large-diameter natural gas pipeline would harm state revenues under the current tax structure.
Currently, oil and gas are combined -- gas is treated as oil, and its energy value is calculated relative to oil.
Sen. Bert Stedman says that structure could dilute state revenues, causing a loss of up to $2 billion a year when gas starts flowing through a line.
The bill separates oil and gas into two different revenue streams. It does not change royalties, tax rates or progressivity
"This is unconscionable, and let me be clear: We would collect less in revenues from oil and gas than if we just collected revenues from oil alone," said Sen. Joe Paskvan, D-Fairbanks.