The Division of Elections has certified a petition to repeal Senate Bill 21, the Governor’s new oil tax. The citizen group, Vote Yes! Repeal the Oil Giveaway, has officially collected the signatures needed for the bill to hit the ballot next August.
We spoke with the principal sponsor of the referendum initiative to repeal the oil tax giveaway Vic Fisher, who expressed his excitement.
Fischer: “I’m real excited we set out to get 30,000 signatures and we got more than 52,000 of which 46,000 were valid which is a higher proportion than are usually valid, so we did extremely well.”
Fischer said he does see some opposition coming their way, but remains optimistic about the future of SB-21
Fischer: “We foresee that a lot of money will be spent to defeat our referendum, there will be a case of a lot of money coming into this state with a lot of advertising and we have the people on our side, and we’re sure they will repeal senate bill 21.”
According to the group, Parnell’s SB 21 “drastically reduces” the amount of the state’s oil wealth received by Alaskans. Their figures state that Alaskans currently receive about 23 percent of the value of each barrel sold in production taxes, but that would decrease to 11 percent for new oil under SB 21.
Despite concerns about a third-party website enabling signers to remove their names, only 3 individuals asked to have their names removed from the petition after a political consultant affiliated with the oil industry launched a counter campaign.
The election will take place on August 19, 2014.