Alaskans will start receiving $3,284 payout next week

Eligible Alaskans will receive a $3,284 check, which includes the annual Permanent Fund dividend and a one-time energy relief payment, starting Sept. 20.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy announced the exact amount of the payments during a live stream last Thursday at a grocery store in Palmer, highlighting, he said, why the check is needed to help Alaskans cope with high grocery bills and energy prices.

This year’s check breaks down into a dividend amount of $2,622 per person and an energy relief payment of $662, the Dunleavy administration confirmed. Alaskans who filed paper applications for the dividend or requested paper checks will receive them starting the week of Oct. 6. Alaskans who chose a direct deposit are set to receive their payments starting Sept. 20.

The Permanent Fund dividend is typically paid in October, but Dunleavy, who is seeking reelection, said in July that it would start being distributed three weeks early to help Alaskans prepare for the costs of winter.

After a long, drawn-out fight in the state Capitol, the Legislature passed an operating budget in May with the two payments at a combined cost of $2.1 billion — the single largest expenditure in the state budget. The exact payment amount was determined by the number of people who applied for the dividend.

The Department of Revenue says that 634,000 Alaskans will receive this year’s dividend, a slight drop in the number of applicants from a year ago, and down from a high of 644,000 applicants in 2011.

The energy relief payment was appropriated in addition to the dividend to help Alaskans with 40-year-high inflation and gasoline gas prices, caused partly by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. A similar $1,200 relief check was paid to Alaskans in 2008 when energy prices were also high.

Since 2016, legislators and governors have determined the dividend amount during the annual budget-making process.

High oil prices have hurt Alaska consumers but helped refill state coffers after more than a decade of deficit spending. However, since Dunleavy signed the budget in June, the projected surplus has shrunk, and the Alaska Department of Revenue has forecast that the state will collect $1.1 billion less in oil revenue this year and next than it had expected in March.

Alaska North Slope crude prices have fallen 25% since their peak of almost $128 per barrel in June, down to $96.27 last Friday.


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