House Democrats introduced their second job-jacking tax increase of the session, HB 411.
HB 411 is a complete overhaul of HB 111, which was supposed to put an end to oil tax changes — at least for a while.
This new bill is a $300-700 million hike in taxes being introduced during the last 9 days of session. The end of the voter-mandated 90-day session is supposed to be next Sunday, but House Democrats have already publicly stated they intend to ignore the deadline as they did last year. Introducing fresh and controversial oil tax legislation this late is proof that they mean what they say when it comes to running late and taxing more.
Politicos will recall this wasn’t supposed to happen. An oil tax working group was established upon the passage of HB 111, and Rep. Geran Tarr — a committed tax-and-spend Democrat — is co-chair of it.
Working group members from the House are Reps. Andy Josephson (D-Anchorage), Dean Westlake (D-Kiana, who resigned after being charged with sexual harassment), Jason Grenn (U-Anchorage), and Dave Talerico (R-Healy). Senate members include Sen. Cathy Giessel (R-Anchorage, co-chair), Bert Stedman (R-Sitka), Natasha von Imhof (R-Anchorage), Peter Micciche (R-Soldotna), and Bill Wielechowksi (D-Anchorage).
The working group was designed to evaluate Alaska’s fiscal system for oil and gas under House Bill 111, a bill that reformed Alaska’s tax credit program for oil and gas companies. The bill was signed into law in July of 2017, after passing both the House and Senate.
Shall we just call it a day on that working group since the tax hits just keep coming? Was Tarr’s insistence on the working group just cover for her so she could vote for HB 111, even though she vehemently opposed it?
Must Read Alaska can’t figure out why the bill was not referred to Rep. Tarr and Josephson’s House Resources, but only referred to Finance. Odd.