Falling oil prices raise new concerns

Ponca City Now - December 12, 2014 6:48 am

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – Lower oil prices are raising new financial worries in some states that rely on oil taxes to pay for roads and other government services.

With oil prices around a five-year low, budget officials in about a half-dozen states have begun paring back projections for a continued gusher of revenues. Spending cuts have started in some places, and more reductions could be necessary if oil prices remain at lower levels during the coming year.

How well the oil-rich states survive the downturn may hinge on how much they have saved and how greatly they depend on oil revenues for basic services.

Texas has diversified its economy since oil prices crashed in the mid-1980s and isn’t expressing concern. But Alaska remains heavily dependent on oil and will have to tap into savings.

 

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