ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Budget vetoes of $444 million by Alaska’s governor could cause widespread job losses, economists said.

Analysts and business leaders predict lost jobs are only one of the consequences of Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavey’s vetoes.

Losses from the vetoes would be roughly between 4,500 and 7,000 jobs, according to an analysis by the University of Alaska Anchorage Institute of Social and Economic Research.

Higher local property taxes could also result from the 182 line-item vetoes announced June 28, observers said.

“We believe by getting the government side under control, we open up real possibilities for the private sector to grow exponentially,” Dunleavy said Friday.

The state is quickly running through its savings and the Legislature has rejected attempts to increase taxes, said Dunleavy spokesman Matt Shuckerow.

Voters rejected using part of their annual Permanent Fund Dividend to pay for government when they elected Dunleavy.

Some experts expressed concerns about what the cuts will do to Alaska, which has more state government jobs per capita than most other states. They worry budget cuts will slow the state’s recovery from a recession in which it has been mired for three years.

There is “no way” the cuts will not result in job losses rippling through the economy, said Jonathan King, owner of Anchorage Halcyon Consulting.

“We’re trading long-term jobs of highly educated, high-income individuals — teachers, professors, engineers, people who build roads, that sort of stuff — for a temporary bump in retail associated with the PFD,” he said.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.