New Alaska Dividends
Most Alaskans get $900 in oil wealth checks
ANCHORAGE — Nearly every Alaska resident will receive $900 for their share of the state’s oil wealth, a nice sum to be sure, but nowhere near the amount of the checks before the recession.
The amount of each person’s check is based on a five-year rolling average of worldwide markets, which includes the recession years that were more widely felt outside Alaska. This year’s amount was a bit larger than last year, but still far from the record payout of $2,069 in 2008.
The yearly Permanent Fund Dividend amount is made with great fanfare in downtown Anchorage. Acting revenue commissioner Angela Rodell made this year’s announcement, saying nearly 593,000 Alaskans will receive their checks next month.
The money, about $576 million total, will be distributed Oct. 3. About 507,000 Alaskans will receive the money through direct deposit that day, and another 86,000 checks will be mailed from Juneau.
The oldest recipient, Rodell said, is 108 years old, and the youngest was born at 11:59 p.m., Dec. 31.
Some recipients allocate part of their dividend to charitable causes through the ‘‘Pick. Click. Give.’’ program. Rodell said nearly $2.5 million was pledged this year to 472 nonprofit organizations.
The dividends are distributed annually to residents who have lived in Alaska for at least one calendar year. The amount based on a five-year average of the $47 billion Alaska Permanent Fund’s investment earnings, so this year’s average includes 2009, a recession year when the fund posted a $2.5 billion loss in statutory net income.State officials have said that as long as 2009 is part of the five-year calculation, the amount will be on the lower end. After this year, 2009 will drop from the equation.