I Voted

Three former Fairbanks North Star Borough mayors are speaking out in favor of a ballot measure aimed at increasing taxes on the state’s three biggest oil fields.

Jim Whitaker, Luke Hopkins and Karl Kassel are appearing in an ad supporting Ballot Measure 1, which would increase oil and gas production taxes to a minimum of 10% from a minimum of 0% to 4% on the Prudhoe Bay Unit, the Kuparuk River Unit and the Colville River Unit.

In a news release provided by Vote Yes on 1 for Alaska’s Fair Share, a group promoting the measure, the mayors say, “Alaskans must stand together for our fair share of oil.”

Supporters of Ballot Measure 1 say it fixes a bad state law, Senate Bill 21, which has reduced state revenues, costing jobs, money in the Alaska Permanent Fund and spurring cuts at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Opponents of the measure say it will stifle investment at a time when the state economy is already hurting.

The former mayors’ opinions stand in contrast to sitting borough Mayor Bryce Ward, Fairbanks Mayor Jim Matherly and North Pole Mayor Mike Welch.

Those three mayors appeared in an ad supporting the OneALASKA—Vote No on 1 campaign saying the ballot measure reflects a massive tax increase and would harm the local economy.

Contact staff writer Amanda Bohman at 459-7545. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMborough.

Recommended for you