Letters to the Editor

Letter: Permanent Fund earnings

The story headlined “PFD dividend enshrinement proposal fails to clear House,” in Friday’s paper stated that a dividend payment calculated according to the 1982 statute, “would require spending over $1 billion more than the state has in revenue.”

This is incorrect. The earnings of the Permanent Fund are state revenue and are available for appropriation. Payment of the statutory dividend may be foolish or wise, but such a payment does not require spending more than the state has in revenue.

What it does require is spending money that legislators and the governor are counting on to support state government. Permanent Fund money is required because Alaska, alone among the 50 states, has no general tax. Or maybe because Alaska has an excessively expensive state government. Or maybe both.

— Gregg Erickson

Bend, Oregon

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