Tax Bill Taking Longer Than Expected

The Senate is running a little behind in rewriting the state’s oil and gas tax statutes.   President Gary Stevens of Kodiak this afternoon pointed out that the Senate Resources Committee missed today’s goal of moving its tax bill on to the Finance Committee.

I’d hoped it would be leaving here on the twenty-second.  At this point with all the amendments that are being discussed, my goal at this point is that we get it out before folks leave for Energy Council. That’s on the eighth of March.  So, we’ve had to adjust it because of the interest in the bill and all of the amendment that are out there.

Stevens says the Resources Committee is already expecting some twenty amendments to the bill – which will likely be dealt with individually.

The reason for making a schedule for the bill to follow through the Senate was originally  to provide adequate time for the Finance Committee to deal with the changes – and to deliver it to the House for consideration at least thirty days before the end of the session.  Under that timetable, the House would have begun work on the bill by March 16th.   There’s no new estimate on final Senate action.

Speaker Mike Chenault says it’s too early to decide how much time the House will actually need to work on the bill.  But he anticipates consideration of some of the issues in the Senate plan can begin before the Senate finishes with it.

We’ll watch the process, and we’ll have an idea on what they’re planning on sending and we’ll start working on some of the things that we see in the background and see if we can get it done in the timeframe they send it to us at or if we take longer or if we don’t do it.  That’s fifty days away, and we’ll see.

Stevens says the Senate Bipartisan Majority will hold an internal discussion of the bill Friday before the Resources Committee begins work on the amendments.