Alaskan Governor Bill Walker Announces Plan for Addressing Deficit

Screenshot Taken on December 9, 2015.  Credit: KTVA Alaska

Screenshot Taken on December 9, 2015. Credit: KTVA Alaska

Alaska’s state finances have been haunted by chronically low oil prices. Alaskan Governor Bill Walker (I) issued a long presser describing plans for trying to plug the state’s US$ 3 billion some-odd deficit. Governor Walker proposes reshuffling earnings from the Alaska Permanent Fund, modifying the oil tax credit system, introducing personal state income taxes and changing the ways fund dividends are paid. Walker’s plan involves creating a sovereign wealth fund which would oversee various state assets into a new entity. Under his plan, the amount of oil royalty revenue would double into the fund, combined with lowering the Permanent Fund Dividend. This fund would act as a fiscal stabilizer against the state’s fiscal budget.

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