House rejects senate's changes to oil and gas tax bill

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JUNEAU, Alaska, (KTVF) - The Alaska House of Representatives has rejected changes made by the state senate to a key piece of pending legislation to reform Alaska's system of subsidizing the oil and gas industry with tax credits.

The state senate modified House Bill 111, which passed the house last month.

Democrat Representative Geran Tarr of Anchorage said the senate version of the bill follows the lead of the house in stopping the unsustainable practice of the state paying cash to oil companies for tax credits. She said that is a good thing that is long overdue.

Tarr is the House Resources Committee Co-chair who helped develop the House version of HB 111. She says the senate version of the bill has two major problems that need to be addressed.

"What we did in both versions in the house was also look at a system that would work better in a low price environment, and that has not been accomplished. So that's problem number one," Tarr explained. "Problem number two, so if you talk to the average Alaskan, they want to see this flawed oil and gas tax policy fixed before any of these other items take affect, and they have not accomplished that."