Alaska senators tout tax bill provisions as beneficial

JUNEAU — The tax bill approved by the U.S. Senate will open part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling, something Alaska’s lawmakers have tried to do for decades.

The states’ two senators were also able to get other perks for Alaska into the bill passed early Saturday.

The measure included a tax break for Alaska Native corporations intended to encourage trust contributions, and it struck down a proposed cruise ship tax that Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski said would have disproportionately affected her state.

The bill isn’t a done deal; the House and Senate passed their own versions and differences must be reconciled.