The head of the governor’s budget team urged local leaders on Thursday to get involved in the discussion of the state’s precarious fiscal future.
“This is not a problem on the margin, this is a real structural issue for Alaska,” said Pat Pitney, director of the governor’s Office of Management and Budget. “So let people know to learn more about it. There will have to be changes.”
She was addressing the Juneau Chamber of Commerce.
She says the governor intends to submit a budget in December that will include a revenue package. Options under consideration include various taxes and using some portion of Permanent Fund investment earnings to fund state government.
“But it really, it takes that legislative process to go through it, so tell your legislators here, ‘Yes, it’s time to do something,’ and tell them what it is you want them to do,” she said.
Without major fiscal changes, the administration anticipates consecutive years of multibillion dollar revenue deficits due to low oil prices, a decline in oil production and an increasing demand for state services.