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PAYDAY! Nearly everyone in Alaska will get a $900 check

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
September 20th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Known for its harsh weather and sparse population, Alaska is a beautiful - if sometimes harsh U.S. State. But sometimes it pays to live there - as nearly every Alaska resident will receive $900 for their share of the state's oil wealth. While this is a very health slice of cabbage, the amount is nowhere near as high as it was before the Recession.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The amount of each person's check is based on a five-year rolling average of worldwide markets.

The Rev. Lorin Bradbury, pastor of a Pentecostal church in Bethel, Alaska, located 400 miles west of Anchorage, is offering some sound advice for his fellow Alaskans. He says "not to get on a plane and fly to Anchorage" to splurge. "There's going to be needs later on," he adds, especially during winter with the high costs of fuel in rural Alaska. 


The annual Permanent Fund Dividend amount is greeted with great fanfare in downtown Anchorage. Acting Revenue Commissioner Angela Rodell says that this year, nearly 593,000 Alaskans will get checks next month. 


The dividend, about $576 million total will be distributed October 3. About 507,000 Alaskans will receive the money through direct deposit that day, and another 86,000 checks will be mailed from Juneau for those that chose paper delivery. 


Alaska's oldest recipient, Rodell said, is 108 years old. The youngest person here to get a check was born at 11:59 p.m., Dec. 31. 


Some recipients allocate part of their dividend to charitable causes through the "Pick. Click. Give." program. Rodell said nearly $2.5 million was pledged this year to 472 nonprofit organizations. But most dividends will go toward new toys, travel, college savings or paying debts. 


Dividends are distributed annually to residents who have lived in Alaska for at least one calendar year. The amount based on a five-year average of the $47 billion Alaska Permanent Fund's investment earnings, so this year's average includes 2009, a recession year when the fund posted a $2.5 billion net loss in statutory net income. 


Last year's check of $878 was the lowest amount since 2005 and the ninth-lowest in the program that began more than three decades ago. The 2011 dividend was $1,174. 

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