The State Supreme Court reaffirmed on Wednesday that the Trans-Alaska Pipeline is worth $10 billion.
Oil companies had argued that the pipeline should only be assessed at $850 million, and they based that number on the tariffs collected. At that lower value, the property taxes they pay to cities like Fairbanks and Valdez would be dramatically reduced.
The Supreme Court found that tariff income isn’t the only value derived from the pipeline. Its worth also comes from its ability to transport the billions of barrels of oil from the North Slope.
While the decision only concerns the 2006 assessment, oil companies have made similar arguments over the pipeline’s for other tax years.
- The state is granting nearly $300,000 to improve water quality in some of Alaska's most damaged watersheds, including Juneau's orange-tinted Duck Creek.
- More than a third of all the penalties imposed since 1976 were logged last year.
- "You know, we're not talking about some smoky, old wood stove here. We’re talking about high-tech equipment," said Daniel Parrent, a program manager at the U.S. Forest Service.
- "Did you think that ganging together seven different taxes would make it more likely or less likely that any would pass?” asked Eagle River Republican Rep. Dan Saddler.