The Anchorage Economic Development Corp. Board of Directors released a letter to Gov. Dunleavy and the Alaska Legislature today, recommending the following strategies to be implemented as key components of a solution to the state’s ongoing fiscal policy crisis:
- Limited, targeted budget cuts while maintaining and improving essential programs and services.
- A statewide sales tax that protects municipal sales tax collections and contributes new revenues to the state treasury.
- Adopting a constitutional amendment incorporating a percent of market value (POMV) strategy into the state constitution to protect the Permanent Fund for current and future generations.
“Since 2015, AEDC has advocated for a balanced approach to addressing the fiscal policy crisis that has limited our state’s ability to grow its economy and communities. The organization has encouraged responsible spending, new broad-based sources of revenue and sustainable management of the Permanent Fund,” said Bill Popp, AEDC President & CEO, speaking on behalf of the Board of Directors. “Despite six years of recession, the state has yet to develop a comprehensive, long-term strategy to address Alaska’s ongoing fiscal uncertainty, and has nearly depleted Alaska’s constitutional budget and earnings reserves. The COVID-19 pandemic has further threatened the economic well-being of our communities and businesses.”
The AEDC Board of Directors believes there needs to be a sense of urgency in addressing Alaska’s ongoing fiscal crisis. It also recognizes that a comprehensive solution will require several elements, including identification of stable revenue sources, disciplined budgeting and measured spending. The Board of Directors stands ready to collaborate with the Legislature and be an active participant in this process, supporting these recommendations with the organization’s perspectives, expertise and leadership.
The 2021 AEDC Business Confidence Survey (BCi) represents the views of 210 Anchorage businesses. The survey identifies common themes in alignment with views held by the AEDC Board of Directors.
When asked what issues were most important to the Anchorage economy, 79% of the businesses surveyed ranked “Sustainability of State of Alaska operating budget” as most important. Other key takeaways from the report are as follows:
- 73% of respondents support reductions to state spending.
- 70% of respondents support a statewide sales tax.
- 74% of respondents support a reduction of the Permanent Fund Dividend payout.
The board’s full letter, including details and background for each recommendation, can be found here.
AEDC is a private nonprofit corporation, operating since 1987. It exists to encourage growth and diversity in the Anchorage economy, promote a favorable business climate and improve the standard of living of Anchorage residents.
Spencer Shroyer, AEDC