2016 Alaska PFD: Announcement, Amount, and News 152


2016 alaska pfdLast Updated Novemeber 17, 2016 with information on the pending court case in regards to the PFD veto.

 

Note: This page will be updated in real time as any new information becomes available each year including dates and times of any announcements.

Does this page look familiar? That’s because it probably is. I’ve been updating this PFD information page since 2008. As a life-long Alaskan, the PFD is, of course, on my list of interest. As a website owner, I thought, what the heck, why not add a news and update page for the PFD?  At the very top of the page you’ll always see a “last updated” message to verify all info is current and from this year.

When will the 2016 PFD be announced?

The PFD has been capped at $1,000 this year, however, a pre-recorded announcement of the actual amount was made Friday, September 23rd.  On average, the amount of the Alaska permanent fund dividend is usually announced in mid-September, typically the 18th to 22nd sometime. This year there was delay as a result of the unprecedented veto by the Governor as well as his out-of-state travel. This announcement did include what the PFD would have been.  Speaking of which, if you have no idea why I said would have been…

Walker Got His Way.

While the speeches at the 2015’s PFD amount announcement should have given residents a hint something was coming, as the state faces a budget “crisis,” Governor Walker previously proposed restructuring the PFD program to fund the government along with an income tax. His proposal, SB 128, aimed to cap the PFD at $1,000 to $1,500 (depending on the version of the bill you are reading) for a number of years before converting to a new calculation formula based on land and resource royalties.  On June 7, an amended version of SB 128 passed in the Senate, but failed to pass in the House and was deemed “dead” as the session ended. However, Walker was bent on cutting into the PFD…

On June 29, he vetoed a portion of the PFD funding on the state budget limiting the 2016 PFD to $1,000. This has never been done before, but any veto can be overridden by the legislature with a majority vote. There was a deadline of Friday (July 15) to hold this vote. A request for said vote was made by Senator Bill Wielechowski of Anchorage. This request was ruled out of order by the majority leader,  John Coghill of North Pole, who stated that, traditionally, the request was made by the House.

The House  issued said request, but the Senate rejected it, stating that the last meeting before the deadline would be a “technical session” with only enough members present to keep the special session alive, but not enough to move on any legislative action (What?!?). With the deadline now passed, this means that the veto stands, and the 2016 PFD will be capped at $1,000.

There is currently a campaign to recall Walker as well as a law suit.

Updates on the Walker Recall:

Signature drives are ongoing across the state, though the group has been unavailable to provide a current signature count to me. You can find dates and times for events near you via the recall walker Facebook page found here or the recall Walker website.

Updates on the court case:

Wielechowski, along with former Republican Alaska Senate presidents, Clem Tillion and Rick Halford, filed a suit September 16, which was later ruled in the State’s favor on November 17, 2016 by Judge William Morse. This means for the time being, the veto continues to stand. Wielechowski has stated that there will be an appeal to the Supreme court.

Updates can be viewed in Courtview using the case number below.

Case No. 3AN-16-08940CI

How much is the 2016 PFD as a result?

The 2016 PFD is $1,022, just over the $1,000 cap.

How much would have the 2016 PFD have been without the cap?

As many of us know, the PFD amount is usually calculated using the last five years of the fund’s returns by:

-Adding the fund’s Statutory Net Income from the last 5 years.
-Multiplying by 21%.
-Dividing by 2.
-Subtracting the prior year obligations, expenses and PFD program operations.
-Dividing by the number of eligible applicants.

The fund did well in 2011 and 2013 gaining 20.6 percent and 10.5 percent respectfully, but in 2012, not so much. Volatile global stock markets added this extremely low year to the mix. It was that low year that dropped the PFD amount below $1,000 in 2013 as the high year in 2008 dropped off. Luckily, in 2014 and 2015, the fund had rebounded and the PFD amount came back up with it. Last years numbers were as follows:

(expressed as millions rounded)
FY 2011 2,143 -dropping off this year
FY 2012 1,568

FY 2013 2,928
FY 2014 3,531
FY 2015: 2,907

As low years begin to fall away, the fund should have offered high returns for residents over the next few years.

Just how high?

The actual 2016 PFD amount should have been $2,052. This means Walker robbed each and every Alaskan of about $1,022 or half their PFD.

(Below are estimates previously released.)

In a piece discussing Walker’s proposed change to the fund, ADN listed an estimate of $2,100. In a more recent estimate this September, KTUU projected a similar $2,084. The funds statuary net income ended at $2.1 billion.

Here is my own estimate based on the PFD calculation formula above.

FY 2016: 2,198
13,186 x .21=2757/2=1,378.5- 49.2 (using last year’s numbers)=1,329,300,000/642,339 (this year’s applicants)= $2,069.46

 

The 2016 Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend is scheduled to begin disbursement October 6, 2016.

Why does my PFD status say PAID before October 6?

The PFD always says paid before the actual drop date. This is because the funds have been released for processing, but not yet fully processed (deposited into your bank account for example). This is perfectly normal.

 

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152 thoughts on “2016 Alaska PFD: Announcement, Amount, and News

  • John Perkins

    A State income tax for all the Outside workers up here. I mean there’s a bunch of them in the maritime, fishing, construction, you name it. They should pay something for working here. If you can show residency (property taxes, electric bills, etc) you pay a reduced rate. It’s about time they pay to make our higher wages. Thanks for your time. Capt. John J Perkins Wasilla

  • Christina Wood

    Why aren’t we using the NEW income coming from legalized marijuana sales to fix what WE did not cause? Who has been doing our “books”? Math is VERY SIMPLE.

  • Camielle Call

    So much education on this site. As a 20-year Alaskan, I am pleased to have found you, Gremlin, and thank you for the updates.

    And, as a 20-year Alaskan, I am greatly disappointed in our Governor.

    C.C.

  • JP

    You reap what you sew by choosing this official to run in office. Nobody will be able to blame anyone else except yourselves if the Alaska economy falters. gg.

  • Robert Byrne

    So sad that an elected state official has so little regard for the citizens of the state he swore to work for not against. I am sure he will be leaving the state after he has his way, just like several other former Governors have done. Sleep well Gov.

  • Kyle Gadd

    Dear Governor Walker,

    I wanted to write to express my deep disappointment in your decision to take the dividend away from Alaskans. Any budget issues are a direct result of your incompetence at spending within your means. You are the problem, and the only solution you can think of is to tax those it will affect the most? I assume you are intelligent enough to admit that this is a tax on the Alaskan people, and those it affects the most are the poor among us. From Wikipedia:

    “One mathematical effect an equal-amount dividend is that the dividend contributes a greater percentage of added income for people of lower incomes. Conversely, any cut, limit, cap, or end of the equal-amount PFD would mean low-income Alaskans would experience the greatest percentage loss of income. The PFD payout, which comes in or near October of each year, is acknowledged to have a substantial effect on Alaska’s economy, both in total and especially in rural Alaska where unemployment can reach 60% and where cash is scarce.”

    I know that you sit with a lot of fat cats, and money isn’t much of an issue for you personally. If I assume you only make the $145,000 Governer’s salary in a year, and there are 6 people in your household, then you will be receiving $6,180 less in dividends this year. That would be a tax on 4% of your income, but you still have $138,820 to work with so cry me a river. The Alaskan median household income is $69,825 (2014), so that $6,180 is about a 9% tax on income. That puts us in the highest state income tax brackets in the nation. Of course, the poor bastards that are only bringing in $35,000 a year are paying a 17% tax, and it only gets worse from there. There is no state in the nation that even dares to approach these numbers, so you, dear Governor, truly defines the term “Maverick”.

    If you really can’t keep a budget, and feel that you just cannot get by without an extra $662,290,000 ($1,030 from each of Alaska’s 643,000 residents), then why not tax the total income earned in Alaska ($16.5 billion) at 4% (the amount you seem to think is reasonable for yourself). Then the 20% of workers in Alaska that are not even residents of the state (and have thus evaded your PFD tax) will then have to “pay their fair share”.

    I’m sorry that a high school drop out has to explain simple mathematics to a person of your high degree, but for those of us who must struggle to live within a budget there are only two options: either live within our means, or steal from those who have some. You have chosen to steal the most from those with the least. When you come back from your Pimp trip in Singapore, you owe Alaskans an apology, and it had better be a good one.

    Best wishes,

    Kyle Gadd

    References:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alaska_Permanent_Fund
    http://live.laborstats.alaska.gov/reshire/nonres.pdf
    http://taxfoundation.org/article/state-individual-income-tax-rates-and-brackets-2016

    Share your feedback with the Governor:
    http://aws.state.ak.us/CrmForms/Home/Feedback

    • Steve

      I wish more people would read this. This is a very well written article and factually lays out what our Governor has done to Alaskans. Very good Kyle.

      Thank You

      Steve R.
      Oil Field worker that has lived in Alaska for the last 30 years.

  • Stephen Wright

    Lisa, Bill and Don have failed us on our Alaskan principals. We are now in Jeopardy and the final Jeopard is on them. They are big government spending folks who never leave like uncle Don who needs to be sent packing. Time to rid our selves of this under achieving unorthodox style that is Don. Dino’s and Rhinos must go and we need someone to stand up to and for our Liberties. Don Dithers and plots to take away an Alaskan tradition and replace it with big government. Time to deregulated distance ourself from his failed ideas.

  • Susan C.

    AFTERTHOUGHT….

    1. If the PFD funds were pulled out after the were allocated to the people, does that means I can declare the 1,000.00 as a deduction on my 2016 tax returns?? If all Alaskans declared it on their federal returns the results may be interesting.

    2. Yes, Walker is in a tight spot. He would have been better off to hav deducted the funds prior to depositing in the PFD act for the people. It is my understanding that the choice was his. What was his motivation.

  • Susan C.

    Well…. It just gets more interesting… And the fight is on.

    1. Money’s designated for deposits in to the PFD were designated and deposited.
    NOTE: any funds that needs to be delegated to other concerns should have been deferred to those concerns prior to deposit into the PFD act.. Once in the PFD act they belong to the people.

    2. Mr. ( Govenor) walked keeps stating that “Alaskan’s ” understand.
    NOTE: I am an Alaskan and I don’t understand how one man can make a fiscal decision with “Alaskans” using monies delegated for those “Alaskans” without a vote by those “Alaskans”.

    3. The PFD funds…did allocation of those funds to the people of Alaska result in the states financial hardship? If not… Then adjustments and cuts need to be made within those areas that contribute to the deficit.

    4. Does our Govenor really understand the impact on the people of this state. That is what that 1,000.00 really means? Those that have solid incomes, and benefits do not realize what it means to decide if the last 10.00 is for food or medicine.
    NOTE: The voice of increased costs in state revenues for food stamps and state aid, combined with the impact (losses) this will have on spending ( local businesses), and over all impact on the local economy in ways are lost to the legislature. What is heard are those voices of the oil companies, and concerns that support a vote for possible re-election.

    It was stated that close to 50% of the PFDS go to children and the elderly.
    Though not always spent wisely, often those funds mean college tuition, extra food, insurance premiums…the list goes on. The same author stated that those demanding the PFD funds to balance our budget, are in the upper sectors of the financial curve.
    Have they forgotten…or do they not understand.

  • Vickie

    I hope mr walker can sleep at night knowing how many Alaskans will be without heat and food for the winter. Not to mention the domino effect from decreased spending by consumers to our economy. While he’s enjoying his stay in Asia.

    • Anonymous

      There’s plenty of blame to go round – chiefly it falls to the State of Alaska’s Legislature which failed to create a solution to Alaska’s spending crisis during the 2016 Legislative Session.

      What Gov Walker did may not be popular, but it is pro-active. I know it seems like he is taking Alaskan’s PFD away. But, he is trying to increase the life of the PFD account by cutting the payout amount roughly in half. This very idea and many similar ideas were thrown around the SOA Legislature this past session. However, our duly elected representatives couldn’t agree on a solution to our fiscal crisis. The money that gets cut from PFD this year doesn’t get spent. These changes that Gov Walker and many others proposed are an attempt to make the PFD more sustainable and keep it from going away.

      Sidenote: All expenditures from the State of Alaska ultimately gets signed off on by the Governor each year – including the PFD.

      The real problem is that that State of Alaska (SOA) has a growing budget deficit, now in the neighborhood of greater than $3 Billion.

      The SOA pays for it’s budget out of the General Fund. Unfortunately, the SOA budget is bigger than it’s pocket books. Which historically have been heavily dependent upon oil revenues.

      So, the how do we currently pay for the budget deficit? Well, currently the SOA is using it’s savings. And, the SOA has 3 types of savings: a.) general use, b.) designated funds, & 3.) permanent fund. The general use savings is where the SOA has been paying for it’s budget deficit so far.

      Starting in 2015, the SOA general use savings was broken down into 3 accounts:
      a.) the Constitutional Budget Reserve (CBR), b.) the Statutory Budget Reserve (SBR), & c.) Permanent Fund Earnings Reserve (PFER) – not to be confused with the Permanent Fund – Principal. However, by Oct 2015 the Statutory Budget Reserve was liquidated and added to the General Fund. Leaving us only with the CBR & the PFER.

      As of July 31st, of this year (2016) the CBR was estimated at just under $6.5 Billion. And, keep in mind the SOA is using this to pay for it’s $3 Billion budget deficit. The CBR disappears in just a couple short years. Next up is the PFER, which at current estimates is around $6.5 Billon.

      It’s estimated by 2018 that the SOA will have depleted the CBR and will be using the PFER to pay for it’s budget deficit. And, at $3 Billion (and growing) each year the PFER is estimated to be bankrupted by the early 2020’s.

      Once the PFER is gone then no more PFD’s will be paid out until the PFER a.) the PFER gets repaid or the SOA restructures it’s current system.

  • Shawn Whitmore

    So… To start addressing the issue of wasting taxpayers money, which is what at least part of this deficit, we now end the Capitals existence in Juneau?

    There is a time when we have to accept that allowing the government to operate out of touch with the mass majority of those it serves is costing us too much.
    We can’t afford anything? The business of government, in Southeast Alaska, where we ship back and forth our representatives, has proven to cost too much, when we can’t afford to operate our government without taking from our citizens PDFs…

    We have no choice other than to begin supervising the direction of governments behaviors. Period.

  • Ron L

    Like everyone, I want a higher PFD. But we are all greedy, especially the commenters below.

    You say Walker “robbed” Alaskans of $1000. That is just bad journalism. That money supposedly goes to repay gov’t programs that benefit Alaskans, which are going to be slashed if we don’t tackle budget lows.

    The proper thing to include in your article is what programs are going to be cut if we don’t fix our budget, and where the increased revenue will be allocated from the PFD income to the state.

    • unwirklich admin

      I say robbed, because the steps taken to take said money were not proper in my opinion. There was no vote put before the people, and the bill failed in the House. In effect, the Governor said “screw what the people/representatives of the people say, I’m doing what I want.” I also would love to hear what programs you think your money is going to, because last I knew it went to oil subsidies. I would feel less “robbed” if the money was going to some service that actually helped Alaskans, or perhaps if it had been taken from me as a legal tax I could claim on my federal taxes at the least.

      • Anonymous

        The money not spent on the PFD payouts would remain in the PFD acct. The original idea behind cutting the PFD’s was to keep the PFD around longer until either a sustainable solution to the State of Alaska (SOA) Budget deficit could be made or until the price of oil soared back up to $100/barrel or better. As it is, unless current AK State budget spending changes the money potentially all goes away in just a few short years. SOA would potentially be headed towards bankruptcy.

        The SOA has a budget deficit in the BILLIONS of dollars that is currently being paid for out of the CBR.

        Current SOA budget deficit is now over $3 billion. SOA reports our CBR is at $6.36 Billion as of July 31st, of this year. It’s not hard to see that this type of spending is not sustainable.

        Walker didn’t propose to cut the PFD to take it away from Alaskan’s he did it because the PFD is in danger of going away. The Alaska State Representatives failed to come up with a solution during the 2016 legislative session and that will mean more money taken away from the Constitutional Budget Reserve (CBR). And, once the CBR goes away there will be little choice but to change the way we spend money, fix the deficit, or tap into the next SOA savings… And, the Statutory Budge Reserve was liquidated in Oct 2015 and transfered to the General fund. So, next in line is the Permanent Fund Earnings Reserve – currently estimated to be in the neighborhood of $7.5 billion. And, would be estimated to be depleted by the early 2020’s. Now keep in mind the PFD is paid out of PFD principal earnings. And, because Alaska State Law prevents the PFD principal from being touched, current policy dictates that no PFD would be paid out if the PFD Earnings Reserve is at $0.00 or -$0.00 balance as of June 30th of the given pay out year. So, once the PFD earnings reservice is gone… no PFD.

        Sources:

        Alaska PFD Corp, FAQ:
        http://www.apfc.org/home/Content/aboutFund/fundFAQ.cfm#dividend

        Here’s a really good source of information that summarizes our current situation:
        http://www.alaskanomics.com/alaska-permanent-fund/

        Statutory Budget Reserve:
        http://treasury.dor.alaska.gov/Investments/Statutory-Budget-Reserve-Fund.aspx

        SOA CBR:
        http://treasury.dor.alaska.gov/Investments/Constitutional-Budget-Reserve.aspx

        This info is a little outdated, but it gives a good general idea of how things work. For more info on how the SOA savings works:
        http://www.alaskabudget.com/index.php/savings/

        • unwirklich admin

          Why he did it doesn’t change that he did it in a manner unbecoming of a democracy. Whether or not the state uses the PFD fund for anything, now or later, should be up to the people being it is payment for our ground rights. We as a state chose to delay payment for those rights and invest it in a varied fund not dependent fully on oil sales at all, and we as a people should have right to control what is done with the return on that investment. When you allow one man to start having the ultimate say for the fate of an entire state, you have a dictator not a Governor, so yes, robbed is still the proper verb.

        • czer

          well said!!!!!
          I still thought walker should have asked Alaskan first if whoever wanted half their pfd capped before he did so to everyone cause 80% of Alaskan just want that money or needs it for financial help.

    • Joan Bevell

      No the governor should have left the PFD alone!! Its not the Alaskans fault… It isn’t fair to us!!! They should have left the amount at $2,069.46