Coalition backs mix of cuts, Permanent Fund restructure

Alaska needs a combination of unpopular actions to fix budget issues, according to Jim Jansen, Co-Chair of the KEEP Alaska Competitive Coalition.

Jansen, who is also the board chairman for the trucking company Lynden Inc., spoke to a special joint luncheon of the Kenai and Soldotna Chambers of Commerce Monday, explaining KEEP’s mission to “solve Alaska’s fiscal crisis now, but don’t destroy our resource industries in the process.”

The fiscal problems can’t be solved by cuts alone, Jansen said. KEEP is supporting a fiscal solution that cuts government spending and restructures the earnings of the Permanent Fund in order to ensure that Alaska is a competitive place for the resource industries to invest.

“Alaska is better with oil,” Jansen said throughout the presentation.

KEEP is a group of corporations, unions, businesses and individuals, but do not receive any funding from the oil industry, Jansen said.

“The oil industry has paid for almost 90 percent of Alaska’s government since the pipeline was built. … Oil has funded our schools, roads, airports and public safety … has allowed us the luxury of not having to pay state income taxes and have the lowest fuel taxes in the nation … and has funded Alaska’s $55 billion Permanent Fund,” Jansen said.

Jansen and KEEP recommend that the Legislature look to capitalize on Alaska’s strengths by marketing the state’s resources, maintaining stable and competitive tax policies, balancing a sustainable budget and by stopping threats to resource industries with uncompetitive taxes.

“If most of your revenue and most of your jobs come from the resource industries, you can’t tax away their incentive to invest and expect to have a sustainable economy,” Jansen said.

The joint chamber meeting drew a full room at the Kenai Visitor Center, including Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Mike Navarre, who thanked Jansen for his presentation.

“I appreciate you coming out and sharing this. I think that we need a comprehensive plan, which is what you’re talking about,” Navarre said. “When we talk about squeezing down the operating budget, though, it’s much easier said than done. There are things that aren’t in the budget now that probably need to be addressed.”

According to KEEP, it takes a substantial annual industry investment to keep production levels on the North Slope stable, which is maintained with a durable and competitive tax policy for the oil companies.

“We have to stop trying to balance the budget on the backs of the industry. …It’s been a great ride,” Jansen said. “But it’s not sustainable.”

Reach Kat Sorensen at

More in News

Kenai Fire Marshal Jeremy Hamilton is seen by one of Kenai Fire Department’s Tower trucks on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022 at Kenai Fire Department in Kenai, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
‘Get up, get out and get safe’

Kids taught about fire safety as part of prevention effort

Bob Bird, left, chairman of the Alaskan Independence Party, and former Lt. Gov. Loren Leman make the case in favor of a state constitutional convention during a debate in Anchorage broadcast Thursday by Alaska Public Media. (Screenshot from Alaska Public Media’s YouTube channel)
Constitutional convention debate gets heated

Abortion, PFD factor into forum.

Carol Freas (right) helps a voter fill out absentee election materials in Kenai City Hall ahead of the Oct. 4 municipal election on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Absentee voting already underway

Absentee in-person voting has been made available across the borough

Graphic by Ashlyn O’Hara
Graphic by Ashlyn O’Hara
What’s on the ballot: Reapportionment, new field house, school bond

Voters will decide on ballot measures that address schools, public safety and legislative bodies

Cars line up ahead of dismissal at Mountain View Elementary School on Thursday, September 29, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. A bond package up for consideration by Kenai Peninsula Borough voters on Oct. 4 would fund improvements to the school’s traffic flow. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
‘Critical needs’: Parking lot problems

Lack of space for pickup and drop-offs creates traffic jam at elementary school

Soldotna Elementary School Principal Dr. Austin Stevenson points out elements of the school building on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
‘Critical needs’: Aging school on the brink

Renovations are cost prohibitive at Soldotna Elementary

Rep. Mary Peltola, an Alaska Democrat, delivers a speech on the U.S. House floor before Thursday’s vote approving her first bill, establishing an Office of Food Security in the Department of Veterans Affairs. It passed the House by a 376-49 vote, although its fate in the Senate is undetermined. (Screenshot from official U.S. House video)
Poll: Peltola’s a popular pol

Food for vets bill passes House, pollster says she is “the most popular figure in Alaska right now.”

A parking sign awaits the new executive director of the Alaska Permanent Fund at its Juneau headquarters, Three finalists will be interviewed for the job during a public meeting Monday by the fund’s board of trustees, who are expected to deliberate and announce the new director immediately afterward. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Interviews, selection of new Permanent Fund CEO set for Monday

Three finalists seeking to manage $73.7B fund to appear before trustees at public meeting in Juneau

Principal Sarge Truesdell looks at cracked siding outside of Soldotna High School on Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. The siding is one of several projects in a bond package Kenai Peninsula voters will consider during the Oct. 4 municipal election. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
‘Critical needs’: Split siding at SoHi

The damage has been given patchwork treatment over the years

Most Read