James Eli Shiffer, the Star Tribune’s watchdog and data editor, digs into data and documents to uncover the news. Reach him at 612-673-4116, james.shiffer@startribune.com or follow him on Twitter at @jameselishiffer. Tell us what to investigate. Send your story tips to whistleblower@startribune.com.

Effort to hike oil taxes fails in Alaska vote

Posted by: James Eli Shiffer Updated: August 22, 2014 - 6:04 PM

It's still unofficial, but a referendum that would have restored higher taxes on oil companies appears to have been rejected by Alaska voters. Opponents of the ballot measure, including Gov. Sean Parnell, have declared victory. Parnell had warned that more oil jobs would migrate to North Dakota and other states if oil companies had to pay more to operate in Alaska.

The Alaska Division of Elections reports its unofficial tally of 80,508 "no" votes and 73,628 "yes" votes, a margin of about 4.5 percent.

Spending by the "Vote No" camp dwarfed that of referendum backers. Oil companies alone spent $10 million, compared to half a million dollars raised by sponsors, according to Alaska Public Radio.   

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