On Jan. 17 Alaska North Slope crude, or ANS, sold for $70.73 per barrel, but on Feb. 21,the price was down to $50.37 per barrel. At $20 per barrel lost per 40 days, it will be selling for $38 per barrel by March 15 at this rate! Legislators should re-calculate price forecasts and state spending accordingly. Obviously, taxes from oil corporations cannot run our state, because there will be too little profit to tax. At some price-point, oil executives may decide to stop selling oil and gas, and to wait for higher prices.
Since any new broad-based tax bill has little support, I ask you to email your legislators to announce your support for a state lottery and for legalizing gaming. Let’s make casino gambling legal, too, with a special state sales tax on all gaming-related sales. Casinos could be restricted to tourist areas like Girdwood, Ketchikan, etc. Let’s stop our money from going to casinos outside of Alaska. Why not open our minds to more diverse sources of revenue to help avoid economic catastrophe?
— Daniel N. Russell
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