Knowles' Exxon Proposal Full
of False Hope Says Murkowski
October 07, 2004
Following the announcement that Tony Knowles would introduce
federal legislation to "force" a judgment in the Exxon
Valdez settlement case, U.S. Senator Murkowski blasted her opponent's
actions as a campaign promise full of false hope.
Murkowski said that Knowles had eight years as Governor of Alaska
to leverage for a final settlement of the Exxon Valdez case.
Now, when Knowles has decided to run for the Senate and needs
the votes of Alaska's fishermen and those affected by the 1989
spill, he has decided to take up the issue. Unfortunately, his
actions are misleading at best and may in fact prolong any resolution
in the case.
"This legislation will only prolong what has already been
a 16 year process," spokesman Elliott Bundy said. "To
tell the 32,000 Alaskans still waiting for payment in this case
that he will somehow be able to solve their problems with a magic
bullet is cruel and misleading. Instead of empty campaign promises,
what we need is real leadership on this issue, and that's what
we have from Senator Murkowski."
The Knowles plan would have the current value of the settlement
placed into an escrow account, removing Exxon's interest earning
potential, but doing nothing to force resolution in the case
says Murkowski. In fact, if this legislation were considered,
the likely result would be a prolonged process and the potential
for future litigation.
Murkowski said instead of campaign year promises giving false
hope to Alaskans, Knowles should focus on real solutions for
our fishermen. One such suggestion being pushed by Senator
Murkowski is allowing income averaging so that plaintiffs aren't
thrown into the highest tax bracket when they finally get their
money from Exxon. Income averaging would let plaintiffs spread
out the value of their award over the last 16 years for tax purposes.
Without such averaging, fishermen are likely to pay nearly half
of their award to the government. These are the real solutions
Senator Murkowski says she is focused on.
The tax code currently allows income averaging for farmers, and
the pending FISC/ETI bill contains language allowing fishermen
to income average to account for fluctuations in market conditions
and prices. Senator Murkowski will urge Congress next year
to expand this further to allow Exxon Valdez impacted fishermen
to include their awards in their income averaging to help reduce
their tax liabilities.
Knowles Proposes Action To Force Exxon
Valdez Judgment; "Justice for Alaska Fishing Families"
Act Aims to Pressure Exxon to Settle with those Harmed by Spill...
October 06, 2004
Source of News:
Lisa Murkowski for U.S. Senate
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