Last Updated September 2017: The 2017 PFD will be $1,100.
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 2017 PFD be announced?
The amount of the Alaska permanent fund dividend is usually announced in mid-September, typically the 18th to 22nd sometime, but in 2017, it does not appear there will be an announcement. At random, on September 14, 2017, the PFD division website began sporting the message below– just a quick note that the 2017 PFD is $1,100.
Will There Be a 2018 PFD?
As the state faces a budget “crisis,” attempts to restructure the PFD program to fund the government continue.
Governor Walker’s push for the PFD began with SB 128 in 2015, which 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. That had never been done before, but any veto can be overridden by the legislature with a majority vote. None the less, they did not use that power and the veto stood.
Walker released his budget plan for 2017 on December 15, 2016. This plan included a new (nearly identical) bill to SB 128. This, and other bills like it, struggled for passage, and remained undecided as the legislative session (and extensive special sessions) came to a close. Regardless, the operating budget did pass in both the House and Senate on June 22, 2017. This budget appropriated only $8,611,800 for PFD payments versus $1,501,000,000 by the normal calculation method. This capped 2017 PFDs at $1,100, where as by the normal method, PFDs were projected at $2,220. The legislature took up the capital budget in a late-July special session and passed a budget that also does not fully fund PFDs on July 27, 2017.
As no bill has been passed to permanently change the calculation method, the fight continues to save the Alaskan PFD.
There is currently a campaign to recall Walker and previously was 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:
Bill 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. Wielechowski filed an appeal with the Supreme court, but a verdict was rendered August 25, 2017 upholding the superior court’s decision.
How much was the 2016 PFD and how much will the 2017 PFD be?
The 2016 PFD was $1,022, just over the $1,000 cap. The 2017 PFD is set at the cap of $1,100.
How much would have the 2016 and 2017 PFDs 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.
It was a low year in 2012 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. Below are the statutory net income numbers which should be used to calculate the PFD:
(expressed as millions rounded)
FY 2012 1,568-would drop off this year
FY 2013 2,928
FY 2014 3,531
FY 2015: 2,907
FY 2016: 2,198
FY 2017: 3,214
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. The 2017 PFD should have been around $2,200-$2,300 as calculated below. This means Walker and our legislature has robbed each and every Alaskan of about $2,300.
5-year total (numbers above) 14,778x.21=3103.38/2=1551.69-(using old numbers, as this isn’t released)36.8=1514.89/(last years applicants)662,046=$2,288.19
The 2017 Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend will begin disbursement October 5, 2017.