ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Just a few days remain before the deadline to file for the 2018 Permanent Fund Dividend, which could be one of the largest in history after the House approved a $2,700 dividend Monday night.
The payout would be second only to that of 2008, when Alaskans received an additional $1,200 on their dividend checks. That money was taken out of the state treasury in a effort to offset the rising cost of fuel, a proposal by then-governor Sarah Palin. The total dividend that year was more than $3,200.
According to the Permanent Fund Division, the possibility of a full dividend in 2018 spurred many Alaskans to file their applications on Tuesday. Lines at the PFD offices in Anchorage and Juneau were out the door.
As of 7pm Tuesday evening, around 498,000 PFD applications had been submitted, which officials said is actually more than at the same time last year. The division expects to receive tens of thousands more applications before Saturday, though the total number of filers is expected to decrease slightly for the third year in a row.
Meanwhile, Pick. Click. Give. this year expects about 26,000 Alaskans to donate some or all of their PFD money, for a total of about $2.5 million in donations. That figure is similar to last year.
However, while the organization has seen a downtrend in its fundraising efforts since 2015, program manager Sofia Fouquet said the dollar amount per donor continues to rise.
This year’s deadline for PFD applications falls on a Saturday, when PFD offices will be closed. Friday will therefore be the last day anyone can receive in-person assistance on their applications. Any documents that need to be mailed must be postmarked on or before March 31.