Over the past week Governor Walker, multiple Alaska media outlets, Tax Division Director Ken Alper, and Democratic legislators have repeated the same false narrative that in FY2017 the State of Alaska will spend more money on oil and gas credits than it will receive in petroleum revenue. They claim the state will pay out $825 million for oil and gas credits, versus bringing in only $690 million from oil and gas revenues. This is wrong, and misleads the Alaskan public into thinking that we should raise taxes on the industry.
Headlamp is here to set the record straight. According to the Department of Revenue Spring Forecast book, the state is projected to bring in $1.0128 billion in TOTAL PETROLEUM REVENUE in FY2017. It must be stated that the $825 million figure for oil and gas being thrown around is a projection; and in fact is $200 million higher for FY2017 due to Gov. Walker’s “kick the can down the road” veto of oil and gas tax credits last year. Given the low price of oil, and cutbacks in industry activity, Headlamp is doubtful of this large figure.
The Walker administration is focused only on unrestricted general fund petroleum revenue ($690 million) instead of the whole picture which shows, once again, the oil and gas industry providing the overwhelming majority of the state’s revenue. Headlamp is severely disappointed in the statements made by members of the Walker administration, and the media. We hope Governor Walker and the media correct their statements and will tell the Alaskan public the truth.
Healthy public dialogue can only occur when people are given the facts. This seems to be a recurring theme, so maybe it’s the administration’s strategy?