Now that you've reviewed the stories at the links above, the following should not come as a surprise. Fortune is reporting:
Its cash cow is drying up. If Alaska Gov. Bill Walker gets his way, the 49th state will begin to levy an income tax for the first time in 35 years.Some of their problems, not all ... are self-inflicted. One wonders if $2,000/resident/year could have been "better spent." Like saving for a rainy day with a Legacy Fund. Good lessons for North Dakota.
In his “New Sustainable Alaska Plan” unveiled Wednesday, Walker called for measures to address the state’s expected $3.5 billion budget shortfall. Alaska fuels 90% of its general fund with oil tax revenue, according to a report by the Rockefeller Institute of Government at the State University of New York. But with oil prices and production in free-fall, the state is debating other methods to fund its services.
Oil-rich Alaska’s residents are accustomed to one of the lowest tax burdens in the nation, according to the Tax Foundation—it’s the only state that doesn’t levy either an income tax or a sales tax of its own. Plus, residents enjoy an annual royalties check for oil revenue that averaged a record $2,072 this year, according to the Wall Street Journal.
But Walker’s proposed budget would put the kibosh on those luxuries. He’s suggested levying an income tax that would take about 1.5% of the average household income, as well as reducing royalties checks. The budget would free up more money with $100 million in operational cuts, a higher minimum tax on the oil industry, and taxes on alcohol, tobacco, and motor oil.