(Wasilla) - Representative Vic Kohring (R-Wasilla) begins the first session of the 25th Legislature by pre-filing two pieces of legislation aimed at positive economics. The bills, yet to receive numbers, will assist seniors and disabled veterans, and have a positive effect on the oil and gas industry.
For seniors and disabled veterans, Kohring's bill will raise the value exemption for taxes on property from the current $150,000 to $250,000. "The original piece of legislation was passed in 1985. At that time the $150,000 exemption allowed those eligible to be exempt from property taxes. With the surge in real estate prices, that number is no longer viable. Seniors and disabled veterans often live on a fixed income that has changed very little over the years. The expense of, and the requirement to pay property taxes means they will have to do without in some other area," Kohring said. The exemption only applies to a seniors or disabled veteran's personal residence, not other property.
For oil and gas, Rep. Kohring has pre-filed legislation that will make it easier for small producers to enter the market. The bill provides a change in bonding requirements for small operators, those producing less than 501 barrels of oil per day, per well. "We often hear from the big oil companies that a field is not economically viable. For them, using their worldwide formula it isn't. However, a mom and pop operation could easily develop these fields and produce small amounts of oil or gas while increasing the amounts available for in-state refining. Many of these people could already be right here in Alaska, meaning the income from our resources stays in state," Kohring said.
Both bills will be assigned numbers and introduced prior to opening day of the session, January 16, 2007.