Alaska Chamber statement regarding 2017 State Budget and Vetoes

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June 30, 2016
Anchorage, Alaska – The Alaska Chamber appreciates the earnest gravity of Alaska’s current fiscal dilemma. The Chamber applauds the efforts by the Governor and the Legislature for tackling the hard topic of trying to match State spending levels to long-term revenues. There is much more work to be done and the operating budget vetoes continue the tough yet necessary actions necessary to achieve a government we can afford.

The Chamber supports a positive investment climate that provides confidence and stability for business and their employees. However, businesses will not invest in uncertainty and the Governor’s actions regarding oil tax credits will have a chilling effect on Alaska’s business climate.

“With Alaska’s oil and gas industry laboring under depressed oil prices, it is the wrong time to sacrifice our pro-business climate in order to side-step paying our obligations,” said Curtis W. Thayer, Chamber president and CEO. “The vetoing of $430 million of tax credits is not a savings, but a legal obligation owed by the State of Alaska.”

The State passed legislation to invite and encourage new development in Alaska. These partnerships created jobs for Alaskans and new discoveries in oil and gas, which resulted in new revenues to the State. The State needs to keep their end of bargain and pay the tax credits owed to small independent companies. If not, we merely continue to kick the can down the road on these obligations.

“Getting the state’s fiscal house in order isn’t a Democrat, Republican or Independent issue. It’s an Alaskan issue. Our elected officials need to put partisanship aside and continue to reduce State spending, restructure the permanent fund, and create a stable climate for business,” Thayer said.
 
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Contact:
Brandy Dixon, Communications and Events Director
bdixon@alaskachamber.com, (907) 278-2727