Juneau, Alaska

(907) 699-6788 ed.king@kingecon.com

Government

The False Narrative About ERA Draws

If you’ve been watching the finance committees work this session, you’ve almost certainly heard an argument about not taking “excess” draws out of the earning reserve account (ERA). There is some truth to the assertion. But, there’s a larger false narrative afoot. Today, I want to take a moment to […]

Alaska’s Finances Aren’t as Bad as You Think

If you happen across some information about Alaska’s current financial situation, you probably get the impression that we are in dire straights. When oil prices crashed 77% in late 2014, the State’s oil revenues collapsed – leaving a gaping hole in the budget. By all accounts, we’ve been deficit spending […]

How Hard is it to Hit That $100 Billion Target

The House passed HCR13 earlier this week, mostly along caucus lines. The resolution is now in the Senate. It states that the legislature is committed to protecting the Permanent Fund and ensuring the continuation of the PFD for future generations. While the language is not actually in the resolution, the […]

Alaska is Unique When it Comes to Oil Ownership and Taxes

Around the globe, there are two basic systems governing the ownership of oil. In the first, resources are owned and controlled by the government. In the second, personal property rights extend all the way down to the core. The difference between the treatment of subsurface mineral ownership has far reaching […]

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 […]

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 […]

Alaska Has an Investment Return Paradox

Over the last five years, Alaska has pivoted from being a Petro-state to a Trust Fund kid. Thanks to years of saving and re-investing a quarter of our oil royalties, we now have over $66 billion in the bank. And, those billions of dollars go to work every day, bringing […]