TO TAX OR NOT TO TAX, THAT IS THE QUESTION
I strongly support the people's initiative process - whether or not I personally agree or disagree with a particular initiative. Initiatives can serve as checks and balances on the Legislature and administration. A good initiative can sometimes also spur legislative and administrative action that otherwise might not occur.
However, the reserves tax Proposition 2 initiative amounts to “blackmail by initiative” that is, “build the gas pipeline, or we’ll tax you.” It's also taxing income that's not yet occured.
If the reserves tax initiative passes in November, lengthy litigation is sure to follow. That means further delay of the long overdue gas pipeline. The intent of those who support the initiative may be noble, but the practical effects from passage of the initiative passes are troubling.
If the Legislature, administration, and the producers can finally work together (hope springs eternal), legislative amendments might fix at least some of the problems that could result from passage of the initiative, to the benefit of all concerned. Gas markets fluctuate. We must not miss the window of opportunity for building the pipeline. The goal is to “come reason together” to build the gas pipeline.