At their invitation, we were part this week of the Fairbanks “Budget Blitz” hosted by the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce and the Fairbanks Economic Development Commission. The “Blitz” was designed by the two organizations to provide the Fairbanks community with a range of views on Alaska’s fiscal situation and potential responses.
Following presentations Tuesday by Office of Management & Budget Director Pat Pitney and Wednesday by Alaska’s Future new Executive Director Ian Laing, we presented our views on Thursday. The title of our presentation was “Implementing Governor Hammond’s 50/50 Plan,” but as importantly, it also focused in part on our preliminary analysis of the likely consequences on the overall Alaska economy of HB 115, another option currently being considered by the Alaska House Finance Committee. That option proposes to cut the Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) and implement a capital gains and income tax, taking a significant amount of money out of the private sector to fund Alaska government. Continue reading