KTUU: Senator Murkowski on GOP Tax Plan

ANCHORAGE, (KTUU) - Now that both the House and Senate have passed their versions of the GOP tax plan, it's up to the conference committee to come up with a final package.

Both Representative Don Young and Senator Lisa Murkowski have conference committee seats, which Murkowski said is good news for Alaskans.

Sen. Murkowski said she's focused on protecting provisions included by the senate, such as accessing a small portion of the 1002 area in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Additionally, the senator said she will also work closely with Congressman Young on energy-related pieces.

According to Sen. Murkowski, some of the areas of divergence, among the House and Senate, are how each respective body treats the alternative minimum tax, how pass-throughs are handled as well as individual rates.

Some argue the tax plan is designed to only help the wealthy, but Sen. Murkowski said it will help middle-class Alaskans.

And while not all Alaskans agree with opening up the 1002 area, the senator said her goal is to find a balance that will leave minimal impact to the area.

"Finding that balance is an important part of what we have to do in Alaska," Murkowski said. "So working with the native people within the region – within the village of Kaktovik, which sits in the 1002 area – working with those on the North Slope, making sure that we have put in place management protections and best practices, so that if the caribou are coming through it's calving season, limitation and activity using technology to identify where the polar bear may be denning, so that we can completely remove ourselves from human activity."

Senator Murkowski said she is hopeful to have a plan settled by Dec. 25, 2017, as President Trump expressed he'd like to see happen.

By:  Samantha Angaiak
Source: KTUU