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Econ 919 – PFD payments start this week

Econ 919 – PFD payments start this week
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Dividends from permanent funds are starting to reach Alaska’s bank accounts this week.

This year’s payment is bigger than most. It totals $3,284, including a $2,622 dividend and a one-time energy payment of $662, intended to offset high energy prices. The dividend itself is the largest in Alaskan historywithout taking inflation into account.

It also comes earlier than usual. Government Mike Dunleavy said that’s about aid as cost of living rises.

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Still, some Alaskans do what they usually do with their PFD.

“I just keep it in the couch, keep it”, said Dinelle Carranza from Soldotna. She said she does that more or less every year.

So does Arthur Goolsby.

“I do the same,” he said. “Put it in the savings account. We own the Midway Auto, so we don’t have a big battle for money right now.”

He said at Midway Auto that people are already using their PFDs to make payments on cars. He said that is not uncommon during PFD time.

At Beemuns Variety, in Soldotna, owner Steve Beeson said this time of year is usually busy for him too.

Bicycles are one purchase that brings in customers. But major purchases vary.

“It’s a wide variety of things,” Beeson said. “There are specific things that people are waiting for, that when they get their PFDs they can come in and get them. “

This year’s PFD was part of one of the largest budgets of the legislature in Alaskan history. When that budget was passed, lawmakers expected Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to raise oil prices and boost state revenues. They decided to spend most of the surplus this session.

As usual, the PFD setting process led to much disagreement in the legislature. And lawmakers were not satisfied with long-term solutions, despite a recommendation of a working group to set up a PFD formula to stabilize that process.

Regardless of the process, Alaskans and nonprofits in Alaska are now seeing checks appearing on their accounts.

The Alaska Community Foundation received some of the highest Pick.Click.Give. totals ever exceed $3 million in pledges, according to Jessie Lavoie, director of programs and grants. The program allows Alaskans to donate portions of their PFDs directly to charities such as the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank.

Lilly Murray of the food bank said PFDs are making a difference to them as the holiday season approaches. She said it’s too early to say how much the food bank will ultimately receive this year. As it stands, those donations are just pledges.

“Right now we’re looking at between $19,000 and $20,000, which is about the same as what we received last year,” she said. “Despite the PFD being a bit bigger. “

She said this is in addition to a handful of checks that donors have personally delivered.That was great too,” she said.

Carranza, the Soldotna resident who adds her PFD to her savings, said the philosophy on PFD spending this year seems to be common among those she knows, despite the higher-than-usual amount.

“I think some people might go on vacation,” she said. “And judging by the look of the Walmart parking lot, it looks like a lot of people are shopping.”

In the Kenai Walmart parking lot, Caroline Wilson said she planned to go shopping. But not for a new TV or a new car.

‘I’m going shopping. I’m going to fill my freezer,” she said.

She does that every year.

“Must be,” she said. “I’m too old to go moose hunting.”

She said the big PFD and energy check are welcome as the cost of living remains high. It costs her $65 to fill her car’s tank.

“It’s going to help a lot of people because of the gas prices and the food,” she said. “It’s just ridiculous.”

She said this could be especially true for people in northwestern Alaska as they deal with the effects of a major, destructive storm — Typhoon Merbok.

Wilson has already received her PFD, via direct deposit. Henry Eide said he’s waiting for his check.

“I think I’m going to put some money in my truck and fix my truck,” he said.

Alaskans like Eide who asked for paper checks should receive their PFDs the week of Oct. 3.

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