Budget stories from around the state

DUNLEAVY LAUNCHES ‘MASSIVE’ PLAN TO CUT STATE SPENDING
Alaska Journal – Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy on Wednesday unveiled his proposal to balance the state’s budget without new taxes and without a reduction to the Permanent Fund dividend.
“This budget is going to impact all Alaskans. It’s too massive not to,” the governor said in a televised news conference from Juneau.
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THE GOVERNOR’S SHOCK BUDGET: NOW, ALASKANS, WILL YOU FINALLY PAY ATTENTION TO THE FISCAL CRISIS?
NewsMiner – The scale of Gov. Dunleavy’s proposed reductions was likely intended to shock reluctant legislators into action and to jolt Alaskans to finally say what, if anything, they are willing to start paying for and what they are willing to live without.
The governor’s budget plan should simply be viewed for what it is: the opening shot in what we hope is the final battle toward achieving the balanced and sustainable budget that Alaska simply must have.
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MUST READ ALASKA PROVIDES NUMBERS AND PERSPECTIVE ON SB57, MUNICIPAL TAX AND LETTER TO DUNLEAVY
Toward the end of the article, Suzanne Downing writes – “SB 57 would repeal the authority of Valdez to keep its municipal tax on the pipeline property that goes through the community. It’s doubtful that O’Neil would be so vigorous in his wrath if not for this piece of legislation. Currently, the town of 3,862 people gets $38.4 million from taxing the Trans Alaska Pipeline, which goes through the community. That’s a tax on oil property that gives the city nearly $10,000 of services per resident.
The Valdez total revenue is $54,551,110, or more than $14,000 per resident. Because it is so rich, it has an enviable quality of life with many good-paying public jobs. For comparison, the City and Borough of Juneau’s budget is about $10,500 per resident.
No city wants to give up its local oil tax and share it with other communities, so this will be a battle royale for communities such as Valdez and the North Slope Borough, which will fight back against SB 57, as they seek to keep taxes on pipeline properties for local uses. – Must Read Alaska
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DICK SHELLHORN OF CORDOVA TIMES ADDS PERSPECTIVE TO BUDGET DISCUSSION
In an article in the Cordova Times, Dick Shellhorn expressed concerns over the impacts the proposed Dunleavy budget. Shellhorn offers the perspective of a life-long Alaskan and toward the end of the article makes the statement, “Look in the mirror tomorrow morning and ask yourself what got us into this mess. And who needs to get us out”.
CLICK HERE to read Shellhorn’s Article