Breaking: Permanent Fund hits $80 billion - Must Read Alaska
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Wednesday, October 20, 2021
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Breaking: Permanent Fund hits $80 billion

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The Alaska Permanent Fund hit $80 billion today, double what it was 10 years ago.

On Feb. 28, 1977, the Permanent Fund received its first deposit of dedicated oil revenues: $734,000. The fund has made money almost every year, except in 2009, when it lost 18 percent. It also lost money in 2001 and 2002, just 3.26 percent and 2.24 percent respectively. In 2020, the year of the pandemic, total return was 2 percent.

Back at the onset of the fund, investments were comprised almost entirely of bonds, while the Legislature had a four-year public discussion regarding whether the Permanent Fund should be managed as an investment fund or as an economic development bank.

In 1980, Gov. Jay Hammond signed a bill in 1980 creating the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation for the purpose of managing investments.

That year, the Alaska Legislature also approved the first Permanent Fund Dividend program, and the first dividend check of $1,000 was distributed two years later.

This year, the statutorily determined dividend would be over $3,000, but the Alaska Legislature is debating how much to appropriate for the dividend. The House has appropriated nothing, while the Senate voted on a $2,300 dividend, and the governor has a proposal to settle the matter by putting the formula into ths Alaska Constitution, which would require a vote of the people.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • I was here for the first dividend (and born here 20 years prior), witnessed the Zobel appeal, and I will be here for the last dividend that may come sooner than we think. It is amazing that the Feds give us a dime when they see we have $80 billion dollars in an investment fund.

  • Governor Jay Hammond had the foresight to establish the Permanent Fund Dividend, in ‘1980, and to quote Clem Tillion: ” Creating the Permanent Fund Dividend is probably the single biggest accomplished by our state government since statehood!” As Governor Dunleavy has pointed out, the Permanent Fund Dividend is a unique covenant between the State and the People of Alaska, and a commitment to share the abundant oil,gas, and mineral wealth with the People Of Alaska. The Permanent Fund was a great idea and has been a blessing to All Alaskans for the last forty plus years! In my humble opinion the best option for Our State is to leave the Permanent Fund, it’s Principle and the Original Formula for annual dividends intact, and to build realistic sustainable budgets without degrading Governor Hammond’s Legacy Achievement!

  • The fund has doubled in 10 years, while the PFD has been been reduced greatly.
    This is something that only a psychopathic politician would call a “win”……

  • You can see why Dunleavy has a recall effort against him, concepts such as leaving important decisions up to the public directly instead of the special interest controlled politicians is unacceptable to the “essential” workers and their unions who actually run the state.

  • Too Bad politicians are eventually going to rob it dry. Just proves that even if its illegal, government always finds a way to break its own laws and take what’s rightfully deserved from you. What are they going to grab next? Our 401K’s?

  • That’s a lot of money for the thieves.

  • With that amount why don’t they just give we the shareholders of Alaska our portion? They want to eliminate it then they need to settle our right for being Alaskans. It is not welfare it is a reward for being here. Because we are here it is our part of what the legislature is supposed to pay as any other obligation that needs to be paid. My property is in tax foreclosure because the past with holdings of the PFD. Give us all what is due. It is not a hand out but what is due us, one and all.

  • I am sure the politicians are going to want a big raise now . They will come up with something to lower the pfd .and line their pockets…

  • That’s almost enough to live on. That’s about eight times our annual budget isn’t it?

  • Re: Mr. Perrine, above: Many people had a hand in creation of the Permanent Fund. The first Governor to propose setting aside a portion of one-time revenues from resource development was Governor Keith H. Miller. Assigning all the credit to Governor Hammond is inaccurate.

  • And we wonder why our elected state leaders won’t do the hard things and trim budgets. Our state budget is huge and nothing is being done about it and the permanent fund is the elephant in the room. Why are we surprised? They see that as their money and most of them sadly behave like children in a toy store with cash from grandma and grandma burning a hole in their pocket. We are not yet to the ‘rainy day’ as we have some of the highest per capita spending in the nation. Until we can rein in to what would be a prudent level of spending the legislature should not have a dime. And forget any income tax until our per capita spending is somewhere in the middle range comparative to other states. Ridiculous.

    Lastly and pretty unrelated – why, when Anchorage is now open, the private sector is running at full speed, the mat su borough offices are all open —— state offices are still closed for Covid? Still need a dmv appointment, state parks offices are all closed except Anchorage. Have those budgets been cut? What are those employees doing? What is the deal?

  • Oops! Grandma and Grandpa – I am certainly not ‘woke’ 😆😆😆

  • What would it be in 2022? Does anyone want to imagine what 22% of a large amount would be based on the earnings the last five years when you throw an unprecedented amount from 2021 into the mix. My oh My it will be HUGE 3400 is chump change.

  • I too have received, the first PFD and all since then.
    It’s our money I agree
    It’s the law I agree
    They just push laws on us, but don’t apply to themselves.
    It’s Wrong.

  • A FULL statutory dividend check to the people (retroactively to 2016). Anything less is thievery, and a blatant violation of state law.

  • Alaska’s “News Source” would have us believe “experts” who say Dunleavy’s idea is bad.

    I would have us believe Alaska breaking its contract and promises is bad. I would have us believe judges who conveniently misinterpret statutes is even worse. Of course, we’re all free to believe what we want.

  • The purpose of the P Fund according to it’s Founder/ Architect, was to limit Government Spending. by taking a portion of the vast oil $ and holding it for the people. Hammond advocated the dividend as a way of keeping people involved with” skin in the game” so to speak. It was never intended to fund Government.

    • Here is some wording on purpose of Permanent Fund: “It was designed to be an investment where at least 25% of the oil money would be put into a dedicated fund for future generations, who would no longer have oil as a resource.”
      Obviously the PFDs are one way for future generations but the last part of the above sentence mentions when those future generations “would no longer have oil as a resource.”

  • I bet this PFD success is still riding out President Trump’s presidency. His business sense and intuition set America in the strongest position. I wonder if PFD will decline after Biden/Harris administration because the intention isn’t to continue maintaining America’s greatness. Globalists want America out of the way.

  • Looks like those hundred of millions invested in China has paid good dividends.

  • The odd thing the PFD law like all “their” statutes is exactly their law to obey. The public doesn’t drop their cleaning sponges to “g’downtojuno” to prepare the checks. THE LEGISLATURE are the only ones obliged by that enactment. I’m beginning to see criminality in the pattern of lawbreaking. Whoever told them they were at leisure to break that law gave errant legal advice I believe. We should yank the law licence except we, the state of AK, don’t “give out” law licenses. Another misnomer among myriads of other misnomers and miss understandings. HELP!!!!

  • Gee. I remember the old days when monkeying with the PFD was political suicide. All those socialists should be sent packing.

  • Great comments here. I hope they reflect the will of the electorate. The formula needs to be restored and the running dogs for the Rasmuson’s et al need to be put down, politically.

  • The state retains the subsurface mineral and water and gas rights, your remote piece of Alaska or your family’s homestead IS NOT yours below ground, it belongs to the state, this is why WE get the dividend.

    If we let the crooks take it we will have no subsurface rights, no dividends, and an income tax!

  • 80 billion in the coffers – I think last year only 631,000 Alaskans were eligible for the payment – if that rings true this year – you could pay out 14-15000 per person – and only touch 10% of that fund – is leaving over 70 billion for investing in the future of all alaskans – Need to cut out all govt touches on this fund – NO special interests groups… if every eligible alaskan received $14- 15K – how much of that would go to communities – church organizations – and shelters etc..because of people donating monies to the things that matter to them – not forced thru bs special interests groups that only certain people want and they have the power to enforce either community taxes or monies drawn from the fund… ..those programs that are important to the community will be funded out of the goodness and graciousness of each person’s heart not forced out of the pocket books –

  • Actually, if the state was never in chain of title the subsurface mineral estate is not reserved to the state of Alaska in the patent and remains attached to the title. ONLY WHEN THE STATE RECEIVES TITLE ARE THE SUBSURACE RIGHTS DETACHED AND PAID FOR BY PFD EARNINGS AS ENACTED as a taking if a significant bundle of property rights. ALaska has not received title to most of the land due for statehood to Democrats not allowing free commerce, industry and opportunity for private wealth in the territory of Alaska.

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