Did SB21 Cause Our Budget Problems?
I recently saw a social media post that said something to the effect of “the reason the State is broke is because of the oil tax giveaway back in 2013.” At the same time, I see pro-industry ads talking about how the same tax reform has led to an increase […]
Fiscal Year 2018 Closing Numbers
Alaska’s fiscal year ends tomorrow, June 30th. While official numbers won’t be posted for several months, preliminary data is already available. Here’s what it looks like. Oil Price Alaska North Slope Crude oil ended up being a year of upward trending prices. While the price of oil ended the fiscal […]
The Legislature Should Not Rely on DOR’s Oil Price Forecast
Each October, the Alaska Department of Revenue (DOR) holds an oil price forecasting session. They gather about 30 people in a room in Anchorage, talk to them about what’s going on in the oil markets, and eventually ask them to write down what they think is going to happen to […]
Can Electric Vehicles Takeover the Transportation Market?
Electric vehicles (EVs) have been slowly gaining traction over the last few years. Some people believe EVs will replace gasoline powered vehicles; others believe they are a fad that will remain marginal players in the transportation system. I am an economist, so I believe that people will follow the money. […]
A Simple Explaination of Alaska’s Oil Tax Credit Situation
As the Alaska Legislature completes its annual task of setting next year’s budget, conversations about oil tax credits have once again taken center stage. I thought I would take a moment to explain what these credits are, what they are not, and the decision that is now being debated. First […]
Bonding for Tax Credit Purchases may be a Good Deal for Alaska
The Alaska State Legislature is currently considering a bill that would allow the Department of Revenue (DOR) to borrow money to make oil tax credit purchases. The bill is called HB 331 in the House and SB 176 in the Senate. Both bills sit in their respective finance committees, but are […]
The Rise of Driverless Cars
It might still sound like science fiction, but driverless cars are here. Actually, they’ve been here for almost a decade. In 2004, the US Military put out a $1 million prize for anyone that could design a self-driving car around a course. Their goal was to encourage the development of […]
The Alaskan Case of Dutch Disease
We all dream about what we would do if a couple million dollars fell into our laps. It turns out, most of those stories don’t work out the way we would think. Lottery winners don’t always make the best decisions. Instead, they buy luxurious houses and cars, and go on […]
How Profitable Was Alaska’s North Slope?
In 1977, the monumental achievement known as the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) was completed. It was the largest, most complex, and most expensive engineering feat of its time. As we celebrate its 40th birthday, we hear heart warming stories about the construction days, we remember the blood, sweat, and tears […]