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Alaska revises oil production figure up as deficit persists

October 25, 2017

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The state of Alaska anticipates higher-than-expected oil production this year but a continued budget deficit.

Revenue Commissioner Sheldon Fisher says even with additional expected revenue, the state faces a deficit of more than $2.5 billion.

Compared to the spring forecast, the unrestricted revenue outlook for this fiscal year is virtually unchanged and projected to be about $100 million higher next year at $2 billion.

Fisher says the forecast is preliminary and meant to help lawmakers, currently meeting in special session. A final report is due in December.

Gov. Bill Walker asked lawmakers to consider a wage tax, though there appears little appetite for that, particularly in the Senate.

There is general agreement about using Alaska oil-wealth fund earnings to help fill the deficit, but that isn’t on the session agenda.

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