Anchorage – On Monday, Rep. Les Gara (D-Anchorage) filed detailed public comments showing the Nuna oilfield will receive significant, and possibly excessive, tax breaks under little-known provisions in S.B. 21. The Parnell Administration, in its waning two weeks, proposed a roughly $40 million reduction in the royalties Nuna’s current owner, Caelus Energy, would owe Alaskans. The Parnell Administration proposed to change the field’s existing lease terms to include additional revenue reductions at a time Alaska is facing a $3 billion budget deficit.Read more
JUNEAU – Today, Representative David Guttenberg (D-Interior/Wade Hampton) released the following statement in response to today’s Alaska Supreme Court decision upholding the fair assessed value of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) for local property tax purposes.Read more
The final session of the 28th Alaska Legislature is well underway. As we wrestle with such issues as a constitutional amendment change to allow state funding of private schools, or whether Alaska should become an investment partner in a future gas pipeline, it is critical that we also stay focused on Alaska’s fiscal situation.Read more
• “$2 billion revenue shortfall sparks oil tax debate” — Anchorage Daily News
• “Oil Tax Revenue Expected To Decline By $2 Billion” — Alaska Public Radio
• “Alaska Revenue Forecast Shows Unanticipated Multibillion-Dollar Deficit” — Alaska Dispatch
Translation: We, the State of Alaska, have $2 billion less in oil revenue this coming year than we thought.Read more
Flip flop. Too much spin makes one nauseous. If you ask the public, in politics it either makes you nauseous, or not care. What’s the saying? You can fool some of the people some of the time, but…..well, someone help me with how that one goes – folksy sayings aren’t my strength.Read more
Enormous implications mean new assumptions need more scrutiny
JUNEAU – Today, House Democrats raised concerns about the methodology and timing of the Parnell Administration’s new revenue projection model and asked Department of Revenue Commissioner Bryan Butcher to release to the public more details about its latest income projections. House Democratic Leader Beth Kerttula (D-Juneau) met with Commissioner Butcher and his staff this week to discuss the new report, but she was not satisfied with the explanations she received.Read more
What, oil companies might not be telling the truth?
Dermot Cole, the columnist for the Fairbanks News-Miner, has been doing a bang-up job writing about how poorly the state is doing in extracting information from the oil companies and releasing it to the public.
If that sounds like a discussion that would put you to sleep so fast you’d get a concussion when your head hit the table, here are a couple of things to consider.Read more
It seems that no matter what the issue, the Governor’s solution is to roll back oil taxes. Tuesday he did just that in announcing the Permanent Fund Dividend. He warned – very inaccurately – that “Alaskans can face diminishing dividends based upon the current dividend calculation because, in part, poor performance of the stock market, and then additionally over time because of declining oil production there will be fewer and less royalties going into the Permanent Fund unless we turn that around.”Read more