The 2023 Permanent Fund dividend will be $1,312, the Alaska Department of Revenue said Thursday.
The annual payments to Alaskans will be disbursed beginning Oct. 5 and continue in the following weeks, the department said.
The Permanent Fund dividend amount hasn’t followed the dividend formula set in state statute since 2016 — with lawmakers saying the formula is untenable. For several years, a draw from the Permanent Fund has made up a large part of the state’s spending on services like education and public safety.
This year, the $1,312 dividend will amount to more than $881 million in total state spending, with more than 600,000 Alaskans eligible for the payment. The Department of Revenue said Thursday that 8,000 more applications were processed in 2023 compared to the previous year.
Department of Revenue spokesperson Aimee Bushnell said that when it comes to Alaskans waiting for the dividend payments to land in their bank accounts or mailboxes, “no news is good news.” Applicants should not expect to hear from the dividend administrators unless their application is denied or requires additional information to be processed, which in some cases can take several months.
The payment size was determined by lawmakers based on what they called a 75-25 split, with three-quarters of the annual Permanent Fund draw going toward state services and one-quarter going toward cash payments to Alaskans.
Revenue Commissioner Adam Crum said in a statement that the dividends “will inject nearly $1 billion into the state’s economy.” But dividend payments are subject to federal income tax; of this year’s $881 million in state spending on dividend payments, more than $100 million could go toward federal taxes.
The number of dividend recipients peaked at nearly 645,000 in 2011. In 2022, fewer than 626,000 people received a dividend. The total number of recipients for the current year won’t be known for several months as application processing continues, according to Bushnell.
The budget adopted by lawmakers in May included a provision that would send Alaskans an extra payment of up to $500 in 2024 if oil prices in the current fiscal year, which ends in June 2024, are sufficiently high, at around $83 per barrel. North slope crude prices have remained above $85 per barrel since mid-July, and above $90 since the beginning of September.
When adjusting for inflation, this year’s dividend ranks as one of the smallest in the 42 years of the Permanent Fund dividend’s existence.
The payment is much smaller than the $2,700 payment backed by House Republicans earlier this year, and still less than the $3,900 dividend that Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy proposed in his budget draft late last year. Both options would have committed the state to spending hundreds of millions of dollars more than it has in revenue.