A Democrat’s bill to double Alaska’s fuel oil tax was turned around 180 degrees into a fuel tax suspension

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The Alaska House has passed HB 104, suspending a tax on motor fuels until the middle of 2023.

This is exactly the opposite result the bill started out to accomplish.

Originally, HB 104 was going to double the tax on gas. It was proposed by Rep. Andy Josephson, with co-sponsors Reps. Grier Hopkins, Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins, Cal Schrage, and Harriet Drummond, all part of the Democrat-dominated caucus.

Alaska has an 8 cents tax on every gallon of gas. Josephson and his co-sponsored sought to increase the tax to 16 cents because, as he pointed out in his sponsor statement, it had not been changed for many years.

It was gutted in committee and amended on the House floor. If passed by the Senate, the 8 cent tax will be suspended through June 30, 2023.

The bill is in Senate Transportation Committee, where it will be heard on May 10 at 1:30 pm. Information at this link. Its only other referral is Senate Finance Committee. The Legislature must gavel out on May 18 or go into special session.

23 COMMENTS

  1. Just maybe one morning they will wake up all alone on earth, an the rapture has occurred and the good ones are long gone. And the next thing they know is load trumpets are blowing from the heavens judgement day is here. And it’s time to Annie up OATH BREAKERS for what you did to GODs citizens on earth. So help you GOD hand on our Bible reap Time soon. Turn back towards GOD do your oath duty oath breakers. You been checked here.

  2. My My the height of political expediency!

    It just goes to show that Democrats don’t really stand for anything.

    • By the way, if they raised the gas tax to even a dollar a gallon, it would not effect the price you pay. The RCA, appointees of the governor, has allowed the fuel companies to “Henry Hub” the price of fuel at the pump. Which means we pay more because of the high taxes in western states.

  3. I’m not a proponent of taxation just for the sake of taxation, but this repeal is just as stupid as doubling it was. If the idea behind repealing it is because gas is expensive, then let’s drill more. If the idea behind repealing it is because gas is expensive, then let’s pay the statutory PFD. This tax is a tax paid for by the end user for the use of a common good/resource, are we depleting the account these funds should go to and backfilling these accounts using other funds?

    There have been a few Senators who’ve stated we have more than enough money to fund all kinds of things, if we are trying to offset high gas prices and inflation then pay the statutory dividend.

  4. It is unfortunate that, beginning January 1st, the bill will permanently increase the refined fuels tax by 58%, which will have the effect of completely offsetting the suspension over time and then leave us with a permanently higher tax. But, as Republicans, we don’t like to talk about that.

    In short: We are temporarily reducing the gas tax by 8 cents a gallon, but we are permanently increasing the gas tax by .55 cents a gallon. This is why 100% of Democrats voted for the bill.

    Bottom line: Not a win for Republicans. Thank you to Rep. Kurka for being willing to join me in opposing this permanent tax increase.

    This is how they get ya, short term cut, long term increase. The Democrats are willing to play the long game. Why aren’t Republicans?

    • So you are opposed to an increase that will cost the average urban driver around $3 a year. How do you propose to fund SPAR? Are you opposed to all user fees?

      • I committed to my constituents that I would oppose tax increases. I am disappointed that so many of my Republican colleagues who made the same commitment still voted for the increase.

    • it’s pretty obvious the reason why GOP elites hate you and want to suppress your speech cause you’re not afraid tell the truth of what they’re really up to down there in Juneau.

  5. At one time I was in favor of increasing our fuel tax. But since there is no guarantee that the tax income would be properly appropriated to transportation improvements it would have simply served to raise State income while we were irresponsibly deficit spending from our savings accounts.
    Now, thanks to PF investment returns and high oil prices, there is certainly no need for raising the fuel tax. In fact, we have sufficient current income to start repairing the damage from the deficit spending orgy of the past 5 years.
    Yet, I fear the Legislature will figure out a way to crap away the windfall again. Next thing you know we will not have sufficient reserves to withstand the coming inflationary recession. Low PF returns and high inflation.
    Strap in folks – the genius’s in DC have driven the country off the fiscal cliff and the AK Legislature will likely do the same here.

  6. When Frank Murcowski was governor, he raised the pump tax on gasoline. The paper beat him down over it, as they did nearly everything he did. But the pump price did not change. Weird. We should be more concerned about Washington or California raising their already high gas taxes,since the Henry Hub system was adopted by Knowles. This system averages our pump price with the western region. So where do the savings go that the distributor doesn’t have to pay in Alaska taxes? You guessed it. The sole distributor. Gas distribution in Alaska is not a competitive industry. And the profit margin is higher than any western state. And it has been monopolized, like much of our country. Let’s say that you have a gas station and you want to give your customers a good deal on gas, since you bought 30000 gallons before the price hike. Well, the distributor calls the prices in daily, and if you don’t comply, no more fuel for you. So, not to bore you with information that is easy to verify, keep in mind that it is totally a political statement to eliminate our minuscule tax on gas. And don’t even think that it will have any effect on pump price. Purely a political maneuver. Like the RCA.

  7. If there is a bad idea, you can bet that Andy Josephson is somewhere in the mix. Here is another example.

  8. The gas tax has been 8 cents since 1970. It is easily the lowest gas tax in the US. If it was adjusted for inflation the gas tax would be 54 cents per gallon. The bill was introduced when the State was short of crude oil tax income (a year ago), to allow an increase to help match Federal highway, port, and airport funds. For the last few years, the State has had to use oil taxes or Permanent Fund earnings to do the match.

    Since the bill was introduced, Biden has unilaterally changed exploration and development policies, which has driven gas prices sky high and made any increase in gas taxes impossible to sell. So, the State will continue to use crude oil taxes or Permanent Earnings to match Federal funds for work on roads, ports, and airports.

  9. Ooo! yuck! Just because they and friends can afford it doesn’t mean everyone else can afford it. Not everyone is fortunate it to get a per diem. When is it a conservative of his district will retire his service? I know that majority of my street voted to recall zalatel and supported hensley. So there be enough residents to give andy a good challenge with a hardworking conservative knowing the district and legislation process who could garner enough votes to surpass his base count. Like everything got to work hard and love people, even the homosexual neighbors, telling them how you’d help their family continue to afford their home and car for their vote.

  10. Really!!!! You’ve gotta be jerking my chain that that group of leftists wanted to double the gas tax when the state is taking in great royalties given the price of crude. Are they that stupid to want to increase the price of gas at the price it is already? Isn’t the price of gas high enough for them? Do they all drive ev’s? I absolutely do not see what their logic is. Can anyone enlighten me to what that logic might be?

  11. We should do this to every radical, anti-Alaskan bill the Democrats come up with.

  12. Why is it they are hell bent on pushing the common folks over the edge??? We need leadership on an even keel seeing eye to eye with folks and not leadership living in an ivory tower on the hillside looking down on us as common peasants that are not worth road salt, instead we deal with liars and snakes in office all the way up to the judiciary level, albeit a few legislators are honest, I’m sick of their crap.

  13. bronson should knock off the burkowitz fuel tax as it hurts the poorest among us. surely the caring folks on the anchorage assembly would agree.
    lulz

  14. I just got a heating oil delivery of 564 gallons at $4.87 a gallon. It would be nice if the Alaska Legislature was more concerned with really offsetting our high energy prices with a full PFD rather than fully funding the Alaska government which is growing by leaps and bounds.

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