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Alaska’s Revenue Outlook

The Department of Revenue puts out a forecast of state revenues each December, which serves as a companion to the budget. The latest numbers are a few months old now, and an update should be released next month. However, the Spring update usually focuses more on adjusting the budget year […]

Tackling Some Questions about the Fair Share Act

Many Alaskans have probably heard something about the oil tax initiative called the “Fair Share Act.” You may have been asked to sign a petition while shopping, or you may have read something about it in one of the media outlets. You are likely to see it on the ballot […]

Alaska By The Numbers – January 2020

Here is your monthly update on some of the things that impacted Alaska’s finances and economy. The Legislature Gaveled In on January 21st The primary responsibility of the legislature is to appropriate the money needed to run the state government. Unlike last year, the House Finance Committee got right to […]

Fixing Alaska’s Investment Earnings Paradox

I wrote a piece a few weeks back about how Alaska’s current investment earnings laws don’t work together. They create a paradox in which the budget deficit gets smaller if investment earnings get worse. In the extreme, we could balance the budget by losing $7 billion in the stock market. […]

Inflation Proofing the Permanent Fund

There was a little bit of a sparring match during the PFD working group meeting last week. Senators Hughes and Stedman seemed to have different impressions about the Percent of Market Value (POMV) approach to managing the Permanent Fund. But, the fireworks came in the form of a misunderstanding about […]

Projecting Alaska’s Budget

The Alaska State Legislature will gavel in tomorrow at 1pm. It should be a busy session, but the primary responsibility of the elected officials is to pass a budget. The governor submitted a starting place for them to consider – $4.5 billion of UGF spending. The finance committees will get […]

Why is Alaska’s Population Declining?

The Department of Labor published Alaska’s annual population numbers in January. It shows a reduction of 3,048 people in FY19. That is the third annual loss in population in a row.    On a quarterly basis, the available U.S. Census data suggests we’ve been losing population for 12 consecutive quarters […]

What If Those Predictions Came True?

If you haven’t read Isaac Asimov’s “Foundation” trilogy, you should. He introduced the world to the idea that although the individuals within a system are unpredictable, the general direction a society is moving can be seen coming like dominos falling. Last post, I offered some of my own psychohistory projections […]

What Will the New Decade Bring for Alaska?

If you were on social media at all last week, you probably got your fill of reflections, resolutions, and predictions. Everyone wants to talk about what happened in 2019 and what 2020 will bring. But, we didn’t just turn the calendar this year – we changed decades. So, just for […]

Alaska By The Numbers – December 2019

Now that the holidays are over, it’s time to turn our attention back to Alaska’s financial problems. Here are some of the highlights of what happened in December 2019. The Governor Released His FY21 Budget Proposal The governor rolled out his proposed FY21 budget on December 11th. To the surprise […]