$80 a barrel oil? That. Just. Happened.



Alaska North Slope crude went over $80 per barrel this week for the first time since October, 2014 (except for a brief few hours in June). On Friday, ANS was selling at $80.57 a barrel.

For every dollar that oil sells in the $75 to $80 range, there’s an extra $80 million available for the State budget, which balances at $71.

Oil prices to date have averaged over $75 since July 1.

If oil stays in this price range — and it appears likely, according to experts — the State of Alaska will end up with a budget surplus. At the current $75 average, it will mean an extra $300 million to the State.

This is exactly why Senate Republicans, led by Senate President Pete Kelly, held firm against taxes. It’s why Kelly said the $700 million income tax that was proposed in 2017 was a permanent “solution” to a temporary problem.

Kelly described the IRS-style taxation system for  House Democrats proposed, complete with fines and audits on working Alaskans.

“It would be everything you love about the federal system but with an Alaska twist,” Kelly said in 2017.

It also would have taken some $700 million out of the Alaska economy this year — an economy that is still in recession.

The scary part is that a $300 million surplus, plus the $700 million that would have been taken out of the economy through taxes and given to government, would have allowed State government to grow by 20 percent under Gov. Walker and the Democrats’ proposal.

The spring revenue forecast was based on $63 a barrel.


    • Ed,
      The PFD is free money, taking something you didn’t earn or pay for is not a tax. Very interested in what you think should have been done differently. While receiving a PFD is nice, I know i didn’t earn it, nor do I believe I’m owed it. Quite frankly, I’d be happy if the PFD went away completely, if it keeps me from paying an income tax. Enjoy la la land were you get a full pfd and pay no taxes, if you ever want to talk I’ll be in the real world.

  1. So the question Walker keeps asking, “Why did I take your PFD?,” which we all assume is rhetorical, actually has but one answer. State government did not need the money. Walker was merely trying to pound Alaskans into accepting a state income tax!

  2. The PFD heist took $3.2 billion in buying power out of the economy over the last 3 years. It was definitely good that that tax was stopped, but stealing the PFD is still a tax.


    Every Republican needs to add this to their campaign advertising! Thank goodness for the Alaska Republican Senate Majority and digging in their heels on the income tax.

    • Sorry Ed, I still see it as free money. The tale of your Dad getting “scr*wed”, while it’s sad, you’re not your father. The taking of land has happened on every continent as far back as we have recorded history. The state owes you nothing.
      Fundamentally I have no objection to paying my fair share of government and I agree we need to get off this wish upon a barrel of oil mentality. In that regard I understood the talk of taxes (we are the only state without some form of a state tax), but the thought that you can levy a tax against the working class while still sending out yearly dividends is appalling.
      Good Job Pete, way to stand firm!

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