Sitka Senator Bert Stedman says Alaskans should get to vote on the legislature’s oil tax reform bill. Stedman and Kodiak Senator Gary Stevens were the only two republicans to break with their party and vote against the bill. It replaces the current oil tax regime known as ACES, which stands for Alaska’s Clear and Equitable Share. According to Alaska Department of Revenue estimates, the change will mean a loss of four-point-one to four-point-six billion dollars over the next six years. Proponents in the Republican majority said the tax cut was needed to spur more oil production. Stedman acknowledged the need for some improvement to ACES, but he strongly disagreed that this bill was the way to do it. He’s pledged to sign the petition to put the measure up for a public vote next year.
Stedman was one of several Southeast lawmakers to visit Petersburg during Mayfest earlier this month. Matt Lichtenstein spoke with him as part of a series of locally-produced interviews about Senate Bill 21. For mobile-friendly audio, click here.