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Analyst says Alaska could need income tax

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Posted: Friday, March 19, 2010 4:03 am

JUNEAU — Alaska’s maturation since statehood has failed to carry with it true economic diversification, a longtime analyst told representatives last week. As a result, the state should bank on decades more of dependence on petroleum and should prepare to use more Permanent Fund income and return to personal income taxes, he said.

Scott Goldsmith, formerly of the Institute of Social and Economic Research, told a House fiscal planning task force that the state depended heavily on federal spending 50 years ago, when Alaska joined the United States. It still depends almost as heavily on a few sources, led by oil, making it smart to save money now and get used to the thought of personal taxes and spending earnings from investment accounts.

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