Gov. Walker Signs Fuels Tax Increase

Alaska Governor Bill Walker has officially signed off on the state’s first tax increase in a decade.

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Walker signed the increase into law in a small public gathering on Saturday morning.

The law places new taxes on wholesale refined fuel, including gasoline and heating oil but not aviation fuel or fuel used by the Alaska Marine Highway.

The tax will fund the state Department of Environmental Conversation’s Spill Prevention and Response division, which cleans up about 2,000 spills of crude oil and refined fuel each year. The division is usually funded by oil revenue, but falling crude prices left it underfunded for the coming fiscal year.

The bill passed the House by one vote.