According to the Capital Press, Sherman County, Oregon has had a form of Basic Income Guarantee since 2002.

When the boom in wind power began 17 years ago in Sherman County, Ore., leaders there came up with an idea. Instead of the county simply pocketing property taxes collected from the big wind generators that were sprouting across the countryside, they would share a portion of the money with citizens.

Every head of household who has lived in the county at least a year now receives $590 annually. …

The idea was patterned after the Alaska Permanent Fund, which was created in 1976 by a constitutional amendment that allowed the state to set aside 25% of its revenue from oil pumped from the state-owned Prudhoe Bay oil field.

The dividend is not not a Basic Income because it is only sent to “heads of households,” but it’s a big step in that direction.

As far as I know, this dividend has so far escaped the notice of the Basic Income movement. It could be a useful example for both researchers and activists.

Source: “Editorial: What Alaska and Sherman County, Ore., have in common,” Capital Press, Jul 25, 2019

About Karl Widerquist

Karl Widerquist has written 983 articles.

Karl Widerquist is a Professor of political philosophy at Georgetown University-Qatar. He specializes in distributive justice—the ethics of who has what. Much of his work involves Universal Basic Income (UBI). He is a co-founder of the U.S. Basic Income Guarantee Network (USBIG). He served as co-chair of the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN) for 7 years, and a member of the BIEN EC for 14 years. He was the Editor of the USBIG NewsFlash for 15 years and of the BIEN NewsFlash for 4 years. He is a cofounder of BIEN’s news website, Basic Income News. He is a cofounder of the journal "Basic Income Studies." Widerquist has published several books and many articles on UBI both in academic journals and in the popular media. He has appeared on or been quoted by many major media outlets, such as NPR’s On Point, NPR’s Marketplace, PRI’s the World, CNBC, Al-Jazeera, 538, Vice, Dissent, the New York Times, Forbes, the Financial Times, and the Atlantic Monthly, which called him “a leader of the worldwide basic income movement.” Most of Karl Widerquist's academic writing is available at his research website ( For more information about him, see his BIEN profile (