Senate Includes Oil Tax Accounting Computer System in Budget

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

The Senate has included $35 million in the capital budget for a computer system to better manage state oil tax accounting.  Senate resources Committee co-chair Joe Paskvan of Fairbanks says the move is aimed at remedying serious deficiencies in State Revenue Department accounting revealed in an independent 2010 report.

The report was commissioned by Governor Parnell’s administration, but the Governor did not request the money for the new computer system.  The issue follows on the heels of debate during the regular legislative session about oil production tax breaks proposed by Parnell. Paskvan says the computer accounting system should help answer questions about the performance of Alaska’s Clear and Equitable Share or ACES tax.

Senator Paskvan says the revenue department needs to be able to show the difference between capital expenses eligible for tax credits and maintenance costs that aren’t. He says there has not been an audit of ACES since the tax law was enacted in 2007.  The Fairbanks Democrat believes legislators need to know more before considering tax reductions and new incentives aimed at spurring development.

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