Not so fast: Senate Finance strips out Giessel-Wielechowski tax on S corporations

Sen. Cathy Giessel

Once considered a champion of Alaska’s oil-based economy, Sen. Cathy Giessel, a south Anchorage Republican, has done a 180-degree pivot, and now is voting against energy companies, which are the driving force for jobs and prosperity in Alaska.

Giessel’s vote in Senate Natural Resources Committee on Friday to tax Hilcorp surprised many who once knew her as a conservative.

But on Wednesday, her Hilcorp tax was foiled.

Senate Finance Committee brought forward a new version of House Bill 50 — the governor’s carbon storage bill — stripping out the S corporation tax that had been inserted into the bill by Sen. Bill Wielechowski and Committee Co-Chair Giessel.

The amended bill, with the controversial “Amendment d.49,” had left the Resources Committee on a vote of 4-3, with Giessel the only Republican to vote for enacting a new tax in Alaska.

Even Sen. Matt Claman, a Democrat, voted against it because of the implication it would have on thousands of businesses, both large and small, in Alaska. The language in the amendment was so vague it could capture other S corporations in the industry.

Other provisions had been crammed into HB 50 included HB 394 (gas storage), HB 256 (seismic data release) and HB 388 ( reserve-based lending). All were taken out in Finance and the bill is back to being just legislation that allows the state to engage in carbon storage as the only topic.

In addition to Giessel’s vote, Senators Forrest Dunbar, Scott Kawasaki, and Wielechowski voted in favor of taxing S corporations.

Voting against the tax amendment were Senators James Kaufman, Claman, and Committee Co-Chair Click Bishop.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy may not need to veto his own bill, now that the hostile tax amendment has been removed, although the bill must still pass the Senate.

It’s not a secret that the Giessel and Wielechowski are working on a plan to make Giessel the Senate president next year, while Dunbar is working on a plan to run for governor in 2026, according to those inside the Capitol.

Gas storage, seismic data, and reserve-based lending are expected to be considered separately on their own merits. They should advance as they involve policies with bipartisan support.


  1. Claman never met a tax he didn’t like.

    He’s a phony and voted against the tax not because it was a dumb idea but probably for some other, equally dumb, reason.

  2. Ever thought I would say thank you to my senator Matt Claman and send a rebuke to senator Giessel. What were u thinking, Cathy? Something in the water in Juneau?

  3. I must be missing something. If Hillcorp is taxed I’m pretty darned sure that cost to Hilcorp will be passed on to the consumer which we all know well in this case. This isn’t a ‘thinly veiled threat’ at all but a way to increase state spending while getting us to pay for it. At the risk of sounding naive I’ll ask if we have a spending problem or a revenue issue?

    • ” a spending problem or a revenue issue?” The viewpoint of the legislative lever-pullers is what’s the difference they are one and the same, the terminology equally interchangeable depending on the perception that they are trying to influence…

  4. When the government puts huge taxes on cigarettes, we get less people wanting to smoke. When a government puts further taxes on Industries, well don’t be surprised when we get a whole lot less of it. Do these Representatives that we elect have no clue about economies?
    Or must we come to grips with the fact that those in power are not dumb, they are simply intentionally destructive to their common man.?

  5. It doesn’t take a genius to know that the three basic things a plant needs to survive and grow is sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide. Why does our governor want Alaska involved in the storage of carbon?

    By removing carbon dioxide from the air, you are limiting the amount of carbon plants have access to produce food. This is an attack on farms and crops, not just S corporations.

    Follow the money to see why “carbon storage” is the new big thing.

  6. Geissel is not a conservative, we voted her out once, she came back like a bad burrito. She’s a Democrat plain and simple just like murkowski.

  7. ALRIGHT(!) …
    Here’s some free advice for the mentally challenged:

    – Reduce Taxes and Regulations on Industry!
    – Work with Industry to Incentivize Development & Investment!
    – Work to provide meaningful opportunities for Alaskans // Alaska!
    – Create a working environment for future generations!
    – Cut Guv’ment budgets by 25%, except for Troopers & DOT!
    – Stop shooting yourself in the foot and feeding your narcissism!

  8. Oh come on folks dont be so hard nosed against Forrest….He can look at the US constitution and point out all the racism in those documents.

    It takes a REAL scholar to discover those facts in a document that we have been guided by the last couple hundred years.

    It could’ve been the lack of public education available for the folks who wrote it for it to be so warped and full of racism??? Maybe because there was no DEI back then.
    Isnt it time to elect a governor that would embrace “the change” Obama promised us???

  9. Two nightmares:
    1. Gov. Cathy Giessel
    2. Gov. Forrest Dunbar
    Both are beholden to the unions and to NEA. If you think things are bad now, just wait until one of these two get control. RIP Alaska!

  10. Giesel is a RINO.
    She’s another Jeb Bush, Romney, McCain, Paul Ryan, W3, B3, McConnel, Graham – says what you want to hear during election time – but in reality is part of the Uni-Party.


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