Alaska revises oil production figure up as deficit persists
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.