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State sees oil bring in more revenue

Posted: April 8, 2012 - 11:04pm

Alaska will bring in more than $10 billion in oil revenue during the current fiscal year, as record high oil prices continue to pump money into state coffers.

That’s a billion dollars more than was projected during the Department of Revenue’s last forecast, and $2 billion more than was brought in last year.

The department’s Spring Revenue Forecast is the Legislature’s last opportunity for an updated revenue projection for the current year, as well as the 2013 fiscal year for which they’re now adopting budgets.

The current 2012 fiscal year revenue forecast is based on nine months of actual revenues, as well as three months of projections-based Wall Street oil price forecasts.

For the 2013 fiscal year, beginning July 1, 2012, the numbers are all based on projections.

The Department is predicting less oil revenue next year, $8.6 billion in revenues, the result of expected lower oil prices, a decline in oil production, and stepped-up industry investment.

The forecast for full year oil prices this fiscal year is $114.59 per barrel, up from last year’s average price of $94.49 per barrel. The forecast for the next fiscal year is $110.44.

Revenue Commissioner Bryan Butcher, who has been warning of a looming financial crisis for the state, did so again in a statement accompanying the new revenue forecast.

“While higher than anticipated oil prices has given Alaska a strong revenue outlook, the long-term health of the state’s finances and Alaska’s economy depends on stemming the continuing decline in North Slope oil production,” he said.

Butcher and Gov. Sean Parnell are pushing for reduction of about $2 billion a year, at current prices, to Alaska’s oil taxes.

• Contact reporter Pat Forgey at 523-2250 or at patrick.forgey@juneauempire.com.

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