Yeah we have oil..
...which Alaska taxes. Heavily.
It's not that Alaska really has "less" taxes, it is that it has a industry-specific tax you just happen to not pay personally.
Also: Mineral extraction isn't transportable. Essentially all other industry is.
Other states don't have the luxury of taxing any given industry to the tune of ~25% (it's complicated obviously, but that's roughly the historical percentage of how much revenue has Alaskan has gained from the industry over the years versus the gross market value of what has been exported--the official rate is like 35% or something).
They'd just go next door and set up shop.
While again, I agree with you mostly about this... You've got to dig a bit deeper to get the full picture. Per person, or per acre or land, whatever metric you can imagine... I'd bet California has higher taxes even on it's businesses than Alaska does on petroleum companies, personal taxes aside. The fees for starting, running and maintaining a business in Cali is atrocious. Their their property tax, sales tax, income tax... tax tax. It really is crazy overall. They have industry beyond belief too, it just doesn't have to be pumped out of the ground. They have tourism, movies that pay special movie fees, ect... Like I said before, also all places have something to offer, some more than others. A town rarely exists for the sake of a place to stay, it usually springs up out of a purpose for something, even if in support of a larger town or city.
The one thing you will notice different between all of these places whether it be Alaska, California, Illinois, Timbuktu... Is their standards for how "pretty" things are. Alaska spends the lions share like most states on social medical programs such as Medicaid and Medicare, some of which is backed by federal funds. Education is up there next, then transportation and then back to the state sponsored University system. The big transportation budget goes mostly to maintenance for our extremely long road systems sprawling between cities. I have to drive 360+ miles to get to our largest city, with a few small little towns between it, not counting Wasilla which is like a suburb of it.
The point is, we spend most of that cash on necessities even though I don't think Medicare and Medicaid should be even 1/2 of what it is. Hell I'm not even for the PFD that we get. Only the libertarian in me is for the people getting it because I don't trust the state governments to not piss it away on stupid things and then tell us they need more money after taking it and suggest a state sales tax AND income tax.
It looks to me like California and some of the nicer states manage to keep things looking nice at the forced expense of the people who want to live there in the form of taxes, or those visiting. We just don't care about building multi-million dollar eye candy things up here. I guess we have that going for us too, the natural beauty to distract for the cash we don't throw into superficially trying to make this place look like a groomed gold course /shrug.
@JBI - Yep, corn has to be grown, but there is a lot more to getting oil out of the grown than just hooking up a hose and turning on a pump
. I'm sure you know this as I'm also aware that farming corn or anything else isn't a walk in the park either.
The only reason I can be OK with the oil industry being taxed on doing their operations here is that they make a killing and it's 100% voluntary. They go into this deal knowing what all of the costs are and decide it's still very lucrative for them. They also cause a lot of damage to certain areas at times, which is an un-intended consequence of drilling. The number of times the state DEC has had to step in and clean up and use millions of dollars is insane. Part of those funds from the taxes are put aside because not all of the oil companies in the state can be trusted to handle it the right way. I even have a customer that found themselves in a bad situation with a few 1000 gallons of crude petroleum that got into a creek/river when a truck rolled. They had ran out of insurance money for the year because one of their drivers earlier that year did something similar. Here came the DEC to clean it up and put them on a multi year payment plan, otherwise the funds wouldn't have been there to clean it up.
Things up here are just so much more utilitarian, the towns exist to support the oil companies. The relationship between oil and Alaska is symbiotic you could say. One wouldn't exist without the other.