A referendum to roll back an oil production tax change made in 2013 was defeated by voters in the state’s primary election held Aug. 19. Ballot Measure 1, which would have reinstated the state’s previous tax known as ACES that was repealed in 2013, was voted down 52 percent to 48 percent, or a margin of about 6,800 votes, the Division of Elections reported in late results with 98.6 percent of the votes counted.
Former state Attorney General Dan Sullivan became the latest mainstream Republican to turn back a tea party challenger, winning the Alaska GOP primary to become his party’s candidate to take on U.S. Sen. Mark Begich in the fall. Republicans see the Alaska race as a key contest in their attempt to capture the Senate majority from Democrats.
State administration officials are mulling a series of complex effects that a repeal of Senate Bill 21, should it occur on Aug. 19, would have on near-term state finances and the planning for the large natural gas pipeline project that is now underway.