Last Friday, the Alaska Senate Majority introduced SB 70, a new bill which proposes to address Alaska’s fiscal situation. Like HB 115, the version being considered in the House, the Senate version relies heavily on cutting the Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) in order to raise “new revenue.” Unlike the House version, the Senate version does not also contain an income tax component.
Because no one else is, we have started scoring the effect of various fiscal proposals on the overall state economy. As we explained in a previous piece last week scoring HB 115 (“Scoring the effect of HB 115 on the overall Alaska economy”, Feb. 20, 2017), we are doing so using the factors developed last year in two studies done by economists at the University of Alaska-Anchorage’s Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER).
Our basic methodology is described in the February 20th piece. It measures the effect on the overall Alaska economy of the proposal being scored in four areas: jobs, income, poverty levels and income disparity. Especially given that Alaska is in the midst of a recession, the purpose of the scoring is to determine whether the proposal moves the overall economy forward or backward. Continue reading