Almost every resident of Alaska will get a $900 cut from their portion of the state's oil profits this year - seems like a sweet amount, but it pales in comparison to 2008's figure.
The amount of money each person receives is calculated based on a rolling average of international markets, the Associated Press reported. Every five years, officials tally up the amount of money Alaska can afford to slide its citizens - that means this year's sum includes the recession years that plagued Juneau. In comparison to 2008, when payments topped out at $2,069, $900 seems like child's play.
But every year, the Permanent Fund Dividend amount is well-received in Alaska. This year, there was an announcement made in downtown Anchorage, where Acting Revenue Commissioner Angela Rodell told the public that 593,000 Alaskans would receive money on Oct. 3. Around $576 million total will given through direct deposit to around 507,000 citizens. 86,000 others will get their checks in the mail.
Some opt to use their dividend for charity, through programs like "Pick. Click. Give," which pledges money to nearly 472 nonprofit organizations, AP reported.
The pastor of a Pentecostal church in Bethel, Alaska, said he wasn't shocked that this year's check was so lean. He figured it'd be close to last year's amount, $878. He told AP he was going to put his money into his savings account.
"There's going to be needs later on," Rev. Lorin Bradbury said, referring to the imminent winter and rising fuel costs in Bethel, located 400 miles west of Anchorage.
Tribal administrator Dolores Iyatunguk said her money will be put toward credit card bills and student loans. She lives in the Inupiate Eskimo village of Deering, around 520 miles northwest of Anchorage, where fuel prices are sky-high, and the cost of living can often keep her from buying extra goods.
"I was thinking about getting a winter jacket," she told AP, "but that can probably wait."