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AK Keeps Oil Companies’ Tax System

The New York Times reports that “a hard-fought ballot referendum that would have overturned Alaska’s system of taxing oil industry profits, put to voters last week but until now considered too close to call, has failed by a narrow margin, with absentee ballots counted this week nailing down the outcome.”  

“The referendum, Ballot Measure 1, drew millions of dollars in contributions from oil companies and raised political passions across the state. Former Gov. Sarah Palin, a Republican who has rarely commented on Alaskan political issues since resigning in 2009, even waded in with a ferocious and, to some voters, surprising attack on the oil tax policies of her successor, Gov. Sean Parnell.”  

“Mr. Parnell pushed his tax overhaul through the state’s Republican-controlled Legislature last year, replacing a system called Alaska’s Clear and Equitable Share that had been Ms. Palin’s hallmark achievement — signed in 2007, before she became the Republican vice-presidential nominee. Mr. Parnell’s opponents, led by Democrats, said his plan was too generous to the oil companies in tax breaks and incentives, and they gathered enough signatures to put the question of repeal to voters.”

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