After being criticized for rushing a bill into the special session this year that some considered ill-conceived, the Parnell administration is now seeking a consultant to advise it on oil taxes.
The Department of Revenue is soliciting proposals for a consultant to provide expert economic analysis. The consultant will be asked, among other things, to identify issues with the current oil and gas tax structure that might limit industry investment in the state and make recommendations for improving the existing system.
The budget for the work is estimated between $400,000 and $700,000.
Gov. Sean Parnell failed to get his tax-cut plans passed the Legislature during regular and special sessions this year and last. The proposal quickly put together before this year’s special session was criticized by lawmakers in both parties.
- Juneau Finance Director Bob Bartholomew projected Gov. Bill Walker’s veto of about half of dividend funds will cost the city.
- Only three votes now separate two northern Alaska House candidates. Dean Westlake of Kotzebue has 780 votes, ahead of 777 votes for incumbent Rep. Ben Nageak, who’s from Barrow.
- Bus passes, child-care assistance, work clothing and other resources to get low-income tribal members into jobs are being cut in seven Southeast Communities..
- The U.S. Northern Command and Coast Guard have launched a major field-training exercise off Alaska’s northwest coast. Arctic Chinook is intended to demonstrate how local, state and federal agencies would respond to a simulated cruise ship accident. Coincidentally, a big luxury cruise ship will sail through the area while the exercise is under way. And to further complicate things, bad weather has just set in.