PFD online applications hit all-time high last month - Must Read Alaska
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Thursday, October 21, 2021
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PFD online applications hit all-time high last month

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Roughly 604,000 Alaskans filed for their Permanent Fund dividends online this year, an all-tine high for online filers.

The Dunleavy Administration had extended the deadline for applications from March 30 to April 30 due to the COVID-19 coronavirus emergency.

State PFD offices have been closed to the public since mid-March due to the COVID-19 coronavirus, which prompted the governor to extend the deadline.

Online applications do not tell the whole story, because there are paper applications that some Alaskans filed, which are not included in this count. That number is usually available several weeks after the application deadline.

Last year’s total number of applicants was 668,588. Of those, 631,000 were actually eligible for the annual share of the state’s oil royalty.

Some 670,759 applied in 2018, and of those 639,247 were eligible.

The state’s population was thought to be about 736,000, in 2018, but has likely dropped in the past two years. The State Department of Labor estimates it to be just over 731,000 this year.

The number of people applying for the dividend has likewise dropped for several years after reaching a high in 2012 of 679,633.

This year’s dividend will be $1,000, as set by the House and Senate majorities. It’s the same amount as the first dividend was back in 1982, when it was issued in June of that year.

Today’s $1,000 has purchasing power of $366, compared with 1982.

For this year’s dividend to have the purchasing power that $1,000 had in 1982, the dividend would need to be $2,675.

Last year, the Legislature set the dividend at $1,600, while the statutory amount that should have been paid to Alaskans was $2,910. This year’s statutory amount was close to $3,000, and much controversy exists in Alaska about whether the full amount should be paid, or the $1,000 that the Legislature ended up appropriating.

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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

  • Today’s government will steal your PFD right before your eyes, shutter your small business, order you to “shelter in place” and then offer you a loan…welcome to the year 2020.

    • I despise politicians and their singular focus of staying at the trough until everything is gone but the fact remains that it’s never been a good idea to think of that fund as “your” money and had you not spent it as if you were a politician you might not need to lament it’s disappearance.

      Or is that really the case?

      Put in better perspective it’s been @ $42k paid out since 1982. The only people it genuinely benefits are either those incapable of supporting themselves or in some cases those low investment parents with irresponsible breeding habitsand a ton of kids.

      It’s more important to make sure politicians don’t get it. Far more so than that you (or I) do.

  • Kind of going the wrong way. Best to get it while the getting’s good. While there still is a PFD. Imagine in a year or two when it is down to $200-300. Enough to fill up the gas tank and take the family out to Cattleman’s. That’s it. Rainy Day gone for ever.

  • Welfare recipients are attracted to the PFD program in the same way that flies are attracted to their favorite pile. Mr. Hammond had an interesting idea and it’s been a curious social experiment however, Alaska has not benefited from having given away a mountain of money.

    There have been a number of temporary Alaskans that have benefited for certain but Alaska; not so much.

    • Not true. All that money was spent on items in AK. Hondas, Lunds, Mercurys, Winchesters, plane tickets, food, clothes etc. It help Alaskans and the state. The “experiment” was working until politicians got their money grubbing fingers on it.

    • The hell I say!

      …and is an average of a grand a year actually prospering? Clearly it’s not prosperity for the average Alaskan. Need an example?

      According to the 2019 Experian credit review the average Alaskan’s credit card debt is $8026. That tells you that if you have to get excited about losing 12.5% of your monthly revolving debt; you’re really bad at living within your means. It’s also a clear indicator that having that money or not having that money will not alter the typical Alaskan’s financial wellbeing.

      I get it. Everyone can point to a single mom somewhere that’s struggling and can put every coin she can find to good use but the numbers don’t lie… and for most of us that money does little to nothing. How little?

      That $8026 at the usurious Alaska Airlines BofA card rate of 21% works out to be $1685/yr just in interest. The average Alaskan could skip the PFD altogether and still receive 1.5 times the annual benefit simply by being financially responsible.

      It’s still ok though not to want politicians to get their smelly fingers on any of it.

      • Oh, so you think most Alaskans don’t need that money? Are you privy to their finances and what their circumstances may be? Maybe that person who is doing financially well (according to you) has been going through cancer or some other form of expensive medical treatment that their insurance doesn’t cover, or they need a surgery that for some reason their insurance doesn’t deem necessary when it is, and they need those funds to help pay for those bills. Based on your logic, you seem to think that everyone fits into your “box” of how things should be. There are many people that work multiple jobs trying to support their family and who use the PFD to pay for a variety of essential things that they can not afford to buy with what funds they earn. I don’t know of many low income Alaskans that have multiple credit cards (or even one credit card) and are living above their means as you seem to suggest. Alaska has become increasingly expensive to live in over the years and it is not getting any less expensive. The vast majority of Alaskans make a meager minimum wage and you think they are being financially irresponsible because they need a PFD? You try finding a one bedroom apartment to live in that doesn’t cost over $800 a month (excluding utilities, etc.), and heaven forbid you have kids and need something bigger because you will be paying well over $1200 a month for it. The vast majority of people do tend to use their PFD for necessary items such as stocking up their freezer with food for the winter, paying for necessary repair to their vehicles or homes, buying clothes and school supplies for their children, etc. You try living in one of the villages where a gallon of milk costs over $10 and gas to heat their homes is often double or triple what you would pay in a city like Anchorage. And let’s not forget the senior citizens who have lived in this state their entire lives who are now trying to survive on the low social security payment they may receive. You sir don’t know everyone’s situation and why they made need that PFD, and to assume that everyone is spending their PFD on trips or other non-necessities is narrow-minded and negligent on your part.

  • Thieves and Liars, Hubris and Corruption: The Story of the State of Alaska Legislature.

  • anyone here recall a year that the legislators didn’t try to take your dividend? Didn’t think so….

  • Unless the record applicants get out and vote it is a mute point as the thieves in Juneau have already decided you don’t get any PFD money any more.

    • Yep. It will be gone completely in 3-5 years. Gone like a freight train, gone like yesterday. Gone!

  • Lets do like they just did in Michigan, strap up and storm the capitol

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