Debate over Alaska’s Permanent Fund Dividend

Alaska’s House of Representatives has passed a bill which sets the state’s annual PFD (Permanent Fund Dividend) at approximately $1,600 per person next year, an amount which has been confirmed after a hard-fought legislative battle over the size of the payment.

The PFD, which is funded largely out of oil revenues, has been reduced for the past couple of years due to low oil prices. In 2016, the payment, which had previously risen to about $2000 in 2015, was cut to approximately $1000.

In late March of this year, the Alaskan House of Representatives voted 21-19 to provide a dividend of about $2,700 per person, but after much debate this was reduced to the current figure of $1,600.

The bill will now go to Alaska’s Senate for further consideration.

Edited by: Dawn Howard

About Claire Bott

Claire Bott has written 29 articles.

The views expressed in this Op-Ed piece are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the view of Basic Income News or BIEN. BIEN and Basic Income News do not endorse any particular policy, but Basic Income News welcomes discussion from all points of view in its Op-Ed section.


  • Richard Evans

    LOL republicans working hard to take $$$$ from the working people of Alaska

  • June Ryan

    The rail line to Western Australia was built with social credit…no debt…
    It has paid for itself a million times over!
    The basic Income must be derived from the credit of a nation.
    It must be non-bankable to prevent inflation
    After a certain period allowance must be cancelled if unspent.

    “Money makes the world go round”

  • J. Cassellius

    Alaskans are the owners of the Permanent Fund and have a right to consent to changes with a vote, as they did in a 1999 advisory vote. Politicians have denied Alaskans this right. The Permanent Fund Defenders group is working with Alaska citizens to secure the PFD in the Alaska Constitution for protection from government raids. The PFD cuts amount to a regressive tax, an unethical move by leaders. How will Basic Income will be protected from government spending as special interests compete for funding? Visit Permanent Fund Defenders and support our campaing to save the PFD at Permanent Fund Defenders on Facebook.

  • Zed

    This article needs correction. Low oil prices is not the reason that the PFD has been reduced for the last two years. There is more to the story. The Alaskan government has taken money from the PFD; something that had never been done before. This is why there is a vote on it instead of a direct payment equally among the people, as was done in the past.

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