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 ever since. But that is[…]

Alaska by the Numbers – March 2020

March was a crazy month. It’s almost unbelievable how quickly the world changed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are some quick highlights about how Alaska’s finances and economy were impacted by the pandemic. The Stock Market Collapsed March began with the Dow at 26,703. By the end of the month, it was down[…]

The Economic Damage of the Pandemic

At this point, you’ve probably heard more about the COVID-19 than you can stand. I feel you. And I don’t want to pile on to the discussion about the disease itself. But, the measures to protect public health will have economic consequences. While doing a full analysis of that economic damage is more work than[…]

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 implications. And, Alaska finds itself[…]

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 than the long-term outlook. The[…]

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 work. The subcommittees are currently[…]

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 to work and ultimately pass[…]

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 fun, here are some predictions[…]

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 of many observers, Governor Dunleavy[…]