Alaska predicts sharp oil tax decline amid low prices

The state of Alaska is projecting revenue from oil and gas production taxes at $172 million this year, a dramatic drop from two years ago when production taxes totaled $2.6 billion.

Continued low oil prices contributed to the decline.

The state Revenue department says production taxes for the last fiscal year totaled nearly $390 million.

Alaska relies heavily on oil revenues to fund state government and is currently grappling with an estimated $3.5 billion budget deficit amid chronically low prices.

The revenue forecast is based on an annual average North Slope oil price of about $50 a barrel for the current fiscal year. Alaska crude closed just over $38 a barrel on Monday.

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