Gov. Mike Dunleavy announced today that the 2022 Permanent Fund Dividend will be $3,284, making it the largest in the program’s 41-year history. Eligible Alaskans who selected direct deposit on their application will receive their dividend beginning Tuesday, Sept. 20. All other applications and disbursement methods that have been determined by September 28, including applicants receiving a paper check, will be distributed starting the week of Oct. 6.
Dunleavy decided to release this year’s PFD early so Alaskans can receive economic relief from runaway inflation. The amount was announced at the Three Bears Alaska store in Palmer.
The 2022 PFD will inject $2.1 billion into the state’s economy, his office said. For small business owners, it means a welcome spike in economic activity for the remainder of the year.
“Infusions of cash into the local economy will always be a boon to small businesses. From families buying heating fuel for the winter, to completing back-to-school shopping for their kids, shopping early for the holidays, or making those large purchases they put off all summer, locally owned businesses statewide benefit when Alaskans have PFD money in their pockets,” said Jessica Viera, executive director, Wasilla Chamber of Commerce.
“The PFD at $3,284, a total of $13,000 for a family of four, can go a long way in offsetting the record-high costs of energy and food we’re experiencing, preparing for winter, paying off debt, saving for college, or any number of other purposes,” Dunleavy said. “Alaskans need to remember the amount wasn’t determined by the traditional PFD formula – or any other formula. It was a political decision made in the capitol building during the legislative session. My position on the statutory PFD formula has been consistent: the Legislature needs to either follow the law or change the law, and if the law is changed, it must be done with the consent of the people.”
Dunleavy ran on a full statutory dividend, and although he has not been able to get the Legislature to go along most years, this year’s nearly statutory dividend is due to the fact that 59 out of 60 legislators are up for election this fall. The dividend was originally broken by former Gov. Bill Walker, and has continued to be broken by Walker allies in the Legislature since 2017, as they have ignored the statute that set the formula and replaced it with a conflicting statute that allows them to take what they want to take from the dividend in order to pay for government.