Fact: Alaska’s mineral industry was worth almost $3 billion in 2009, but paid less than 2 percent to state and local governments, counting all forms of taxes,
fees, and royalties. Taxes on other industries are much higher: the oil and gas industry paid about 20 percent of its market value, and the fishing industry paid around 5 percent. Coal mining also returns around 5 percent to the state. (Source: www.groundtruthtrekking.org/Issues/MetalsMining/Mining-Taxes-Revenue-Alaska.html)
What if the foreign corporations that loot the minerals beneath our feet were to pay what the oil industry pays? In a Feb. 13 Clarion article about large-scale mining, Representative Dan Saddler is quoted as saying, “It is important for state leaders to express our confidence in mining as a way to bring Alaskans jobs, revenue and economic diversity.” “Revenue …”? In another recent Clarion article, Alaska’s mining revenue is about $100 million per year.
Let me see, if the mineral industry is worth $3 billion and only $100 million comes in from a tax of less than 2 percent percent, imagine what could be done if these foreign corporations paid 20 percent as do the oil industry?
Infrastructure needs repair, new roads need building, school roofs need fixing, and people need relief from property taxes.
So the questions to the representatives we sent to Juneau are: Why aren’t foreign mining companies paying what the oil companies pay? and, where do all the minerals taken from The People’s soil go? and why aren’t you doing your job to protect Alaskans from foreign mining exploitation?
And the big question: Have you been scared or bought by their lobbyists?
It’s about time that foreign companies who profit greatly from our minerals begin to pay the same amount as the big oil companies pay for our oil.