JUNEAU (AP) — The minority leader of the Alaska House said Wednesday that if his caucus isn’t satisfied with changes to the state’s oil and gas tax credit program, it will be hard to justify going into a major state savings account to help cover state costs.
Minority Leader Chris Tuck, D-Anchorage, said it also would be hard to justify asking people to pay taxes or make changes to the Alaska Permanent Fund dividends without tax credit changes at least on par with what Gov. Bill Walker has proposed.
Tax credits have become a point of contention in the waning days of the regular legislative session as lawmakers try to balance addressing what has become a major spending item with concerns about the impacts that changes would have on an industry also being hit by low oil prices. It’s an issue that’s even caused divisions with the Republican-led majority.
The Democratic-led minority was not satisfied with changes to Walker’s bill that came out of the House Resources and Finance committees. The House, which debated amendments to the House Finance version on the floor Tuesday, planned to resume debate Wednesday night.