No wonder they like Palin in Alaska.....
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Posted by Chad (+1758) 13 years ago
I'd be happy too if Montana handed out a dividend check EVERY year. I'd be happy if our state showed a deficit, but actually had $28B in the bank to even things out!

http://www.economist.com...d=2502592

http://www.earthrights.n...aska.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/...nent_Fund

Tax Burden By State from
http://www.retirementliv...axes.html

If all other things are equal, a state with a lower burden is a more attractive place to retire than a state with a higher one. To get a true sense of which state is less expensive, you need to look at state and local tax burdens. Only then do the low tax states stand out.

It is estimated by the Tax Foundation that the nation as a whole will pay on average 9.7% of its income in state and local taxes in 2008, down from 9.9% in 2007 primarily because income grew faster than tax collections between 2007 and 2008.

New Jersey residents paid 11.8%, topping the charts. New Yorkers were close behind, paying 11.7%, and Connecticut was third at 11.1%. The top 10 were rounded out by Maryland (10.8%), Hawaii (10.6%), California (10.5%), Ohio (10.4%). Vermont (10.3%), Wisconsin (10.2%) and Rhode Island (10.2%).

Alaskans pay the least , 6.4 percent in 2008, but Nevada is close at 6.6 percent. In four states the residents pay between 7 and 8 percent of their income in state and local taxes: Wyoming (7.0%), Florida (7.4%), New Hampshire (7.6%) and South Dakota (7.9%). Four other states round out the bottom 10: Tennessee (8.3%), Texas (8.4%), Louisiana (8.4%) and Arizona (8.5%).


If you think people are happy with Palin: it's no wonder, they pay the lowest taxes, have income in the top five http://www.census.gov/hhe...emhi.html (vs. Montana in the bottom five), and get a bonus every year.


Contrary to Alaska's "problem deficit" is that of the nation:

http://www.ktuu.com/glob...s=8800925

[This message has been edited by Chad (edited 9/2/2008).]

[This message has been edited by Chad (edited 9/2/2008).]

[This message has been edited by Chad (edited 9/2/2008).]

[This message has been edited by Chad (edited 9/2/2008).]
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Posted by Bob Netherton (+1887) 13 years ago
How's the cost of living in Alaska?
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Posted by Chad (+1758) 13 years ago
http://swz.salary.com/co...&x=48&y=9

I ran 100,000 through the site above starting in Helena (MT Capitol) and ending in Juneau (AK Capitol). Looks like you would need about 21% more income to be even, or in AK you make about 21% less than here in MT. Considering the difference in median incomes from the previous link in my earlier post, I'd say you would still be about even; then factor in the lower taxes and state freebie check, and Alaskans come out ahead.

[This message has been edited by Chad (edited 9/2/2008).]
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Posted by Chad (+1758) 13 years ago
Must be too much math here to generate a discussion.
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+17732) 13 years ago
I'd rather post bogus photoshop images instead.
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Posted by Cheryl Gaer-Barlow (+481) 13 years ago
This oil fund credit payback to the residents of Alaska has been going on for 30 years or so. Every November, each resident receives about $1200.00 for the oil money.If the resident has 6 kids, each child receives that amount. If a resident is over 65, they receive an additional $250.00 per month from the state,plus free transit and discount ferry costs. (at least it was that way 10-15 years ago).
I don't feel the cost of living was that much higher than the lower 48. It's an incredible place to live!
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Posted by Chad (+1758) 13 years ago
I spoke with someone that has kids in AK this morning. He, his wife and one child will be getting just a hair under $10,000 next month for their three checks combined.
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Posted by howdy (+4950) 13 years ago
Wow, thats incredible.
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Posted by Hal Neumann (+10040) 13 years ago
There always seems to be misinformation circulating around about the PFD - I'm not sure why that is. I know some people seem jealous of the payments - like it is somehow taking money out of their pockets.

The Alaska constitution states that the natural resources of the state are owned by the people, not the government. In the 70s when the pipeline was going in Governor Jay Hammond (D) pushed the Permanent Fund legislation through. The legislation requires that a small portion of the proceeds from the sale of oil and natural gas be placed into an investment fund. Once a year the fund managers send out dividend checks. Hammond's thinking was: the resources belong to the people so maybe the people should receive a share of the proceeds from their sale. Hammond's philosophy was that maybe the citizens knew better how some of that money should be spent than did the government. If individuals want to invest their PFD check wisely - that's their business . . . if they want to piss it away - that's their business. The legislator takes both of those tacks, so why shouldn't the people be given some of their money to with as they please?

So, the money isn't a rebate, refund or a welfare program. It's a dividend payment made by the state to the shareholders of Alaska's natural resources.

Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation
http://www.apfc.org/home/.../index.cfm

Maybe Montana needs a constitutional amendment giving the people ownership of natural resources. Then Montana could set up a permanent fund corporation with some of the proceeds from oil, gas, and coal sales.
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Posted by J. Dyba (+1344) 13 years ago
I've always thought the PFD was a genius idea. It was explained to me by a friend in boot camp and I researched into it a bit when I was deciding on what I wanted to do when I grew up.
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Posted by Cheryl Gaer-Barlow (+481) 13 years ago
If ANWAR open up in Alaska, and it looks as though it will, the wages for construction, welding, plumbing, etc. will be through the roof! When they put the pipeline through, the workers had more money than they could spend. Alaska will be the happening place in the near future!
If I were a young man, I'd be on my way up there so fast!
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Posted by Hal Neumann (+10040) 13 years ago
>> I've always thought the PFD was a genius idea.

As near as I can tell, Jay Hammond was a genius. In addition to pushing through the Permanent Fund he also played a big roll in setting up Alaska's system of local government.
= = = = = = = =

>>How's the cost of living in Alaska?

Bob, it really varies depending on the community. Anchorage isn't a whole lot more expensive than similar sized cities Outside. The more remote the community is, the higher the cost of living. And that is largely keyed to transportation:
- - a village on the road grid has a lower cost of living than one that isn't.
- - it's cheaper to live in a village that has a port/harbor than one doesn't.
- - a village with scheduled air service is less expensive than one served only by charter planes.
- - it's cheaper to live in a village with a post office than it is to live in one without mail service.

And sheer distance plays a roll in it too. Whatever the means of transport is, it simply costs more to haul freight to Barrow than to Dutch Harbor. Much of the state is a long ways from the rest of the country. And once freight makes to distribution points inside the state, there's still often a long distance to go to get it to the consumer. Anyway you look at it, it's a big state.



Here's some data on the cost of living in various communities - if you are interested.
Alaska Food Cost Survey March 2008:
XLS: http://www.uaf.edu/ces/fc...q1data.xls
or PDF: http://www.uaf.edu/ces/fc...q1data.pdf

For comparison purposes here the March 2007 data:
XLS: http://www.uaf.edu/ces/fc...q1data.xls
or PDF: http://www.uaf.edu/ces/fc...q1data.pdf
= = = = = = = =


The "buzz" is that if both the natural gas pipeline and ANWAR go through, PFD payments could quadruple - that should really make people jealous ; -)

But I'm still not certain what the PFD has to do with Palin's popularity in Alaska - she didn't invent the system.

[This message has been edited by Hal Neumann (edited 9/4/2008).]
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Posted by Chad (+1758) 13 years ago
"If individuals want to invest their PFD check wisely - that's their business . . . if they want to piss it away - that's their business."

So, if you don't "invest" your PFD check you're "pissing it away". Too bad more people didn't "invest" their Federal Stimulus checks instead of spending it to stimulate the economy. That would have been the Conservative thing to do, and better for the Country, right?

Regardless, Alaska is an exception to the nation in more ways than the PFD.


Out of curiosity, how is it that the State of Alaska owns the mineral rights on Federal land??? We don't have that luxury anywhere in the lower 48 or Hawaii as far as I can find. What kind of hood winking , behind closed doors negotiating went on there?

Here's Federally owned lands, Alaska is #2 in percentage after Nevada, but highest by square miles/area:

http://cleantechlawandbu...ar-power/
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Posted by Hal Neumann (+10040) 13 years ago
I'm still curious what the PFD has to do with Palin?



>> So, if you don't "invest" your PFD check you're "pissing it away". Too bad more people didn't "invest" their Federal Stimulus checks instead of spending it to stimulate the economy. That would have been the Conservative thing to do, and better for the Country, right?

If they want to invest it, pay bills, buy a new boat, or go to Vegas - it's their money and their call - right? Doesn't seem to have much to do at all with Conservatism or Liberalism - just people spending their money as they choose.



>> Out of curiosity, how is it that the State of Alaska owns the mineral rights on Federal land???

The money that goes into the Permanent Fund comes from royal payments for the sale of Alaskans' oil and gas produced on state lands.
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Posted by shannon gamber (+20) 13 years ago
YEAH BUDDY CAN'T WAIT TO PAY OFF MY HOUSE
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Posted by shannon gamber (+20) 13 years ago
my friend who moved here did a check to see what i would get if i moved here with my wife &kids it shows close to $15,000. moving here could be beneficial. many montanans live here now they claim themselves alaskans. they seem real happy except for gas 'n' plane tikets home to see family members.

[This message has been edited by shannon gamber (edited 9/4/2008).]
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Posted by Hal Neumann (+10040) 13 years ago
Shannon,

Thanks for clearing all that up.


If I correctly understand what you said in the email you sent me . . . your position is: if we elect Palin she will give everyone in the United States money from Alaska's Permanent Fund.

wOw!

Now there is a campaign promise that should turnout/buy the vote. No doubt we'll hear Sarah's running mate talking this one up in his stump speeches.
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Posted by Bob Netherton (+1887) 13 years ago
Who is Sarah's running mate?
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Posted by mule train (+1050) 13 years ago
Most Alaskans I knew pissed away their PFDs up their noses.
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3707) 13 years ago
I knew a guy in college that had grown up in AK and he was about as big a druggie as anyone I have met. One of two people I knew while there that got to spend a week in Joe Arpaio's tent city for multiple DUI offenses. He also told me that drugs are very big up there.

He grew up in a cabin with his Dad on a lake where the only way in or out was by snowmobile or airplane and the nearest neighbors were 15 miles away. His Dad made a living flying hunters and fishermen around in his airplane and used a radio phone to trade stocks on the internet. Interesting lifestyle.
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Posted by Hal Neumann (+10040) 13 years ago
Jon boats, boat motors, ATVs, & the like seem to be popular PFD buys around here. But then I don't hang out with the fast living crowd like I did when I was younger ; -)

We're thinking we'll bank ours and see what's left come spring after paying the utility bills. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that there's enough left over for something like this:
http://www.directboats.co...jonbo.html
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Posted by howdy (+4950) 13 years ago
How long do you and your wife plan to stay in AK?? It sounds lovely and what do you miss about MT??
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Posted by Todd Larson (+143) 13 years ago
Chad,
The dividend check that is received every month in Alaska is based on oil royalities that is sold and in order to receive a check, in Alaska, you must own property and be a resident of Alaska.

My sister lived in Wasilla for 12 years and guess she could be concidered an expert on the subject. If Montana produced as much crude oil as Alaska does each year we might be entitled to the same. and we might have budget like theirs too.
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Posted by Hal Neumann (+10040) 13 years ago
>>How long do you and your wife plan to stay in AK??

We're just not certain on that, so we are kind of playing it by ear. To an extent it depends on whether or not the energy costs / cost of living situation here in the Bush turns out to be as grim as some predictions suggest. In that sense we are like most people living in the remote villages - economics seem to decide right now whether people stay or go. We talk about perhaps moving to another location - someplace on the road grid. But then we are also talking about buying a subsistence net this spring and possibly a boat - that could be a sign that we are settling in for a longer haul.

>>It sounds lovely. . . .

It is in many ways, but it is also sometimes a harsh environment. But that is not always a negative.

If we do stay here for "good" - it will likely be living this close to nature that decides it for us. Having 10 million fish come upriver every summer to spawn is exciting in a way that I could never explain other than to say it is a rush to see life living, procreating, and dying with such vibrant exuberance. Living with bears, moose, wolves, fox, eagles, and the like right out our front door is something we quickly came to love. Most places where I've ever lived I had to go find nature - even if was only for a short drive. Here it comes to my door. Sometimes the "critters" are a nuisance - but on the whole it somehow feels right for / to us.

We've yet to explore the Bay / Sea and the maritime environment - so far we've focused on the land. But having whales and seals come up river as far as here is kind of cool. Coming out of Montana, I don't feel a great draw to the sea, but if we do get a boat, I'd like to explore the River and Lake and some of the smaller tributaries.

The low population is kind of addictive - after 20 plus years of living in Missoula, it is nice not to have a lot of people around. The isolation is sometimes challenging, but I have re-learned how to be patient. And aside from the 50-60 cubic feet of books I left in storage, I don't miss all the "things" I used to have when I lived where it was easy to acquire things.

The village itself (and this not meant to be a slam) has a lot of rough edges - it reminds me much of what I've read about communities in frontier in Montana.

The people are interesting, much like people every where of course - but yet different in some ways as well. They take their time measuring up newcomers and are somewhat leery of strangers. They have a strong sense of community. They lend a hand when needed, but have enough of their own to do that they'd prefer not to have to. The ethnic/racial/cultural diversity is interesting - even those who have problems with "others" will pull together if there is a common good / need to be served. They are tolerant of eccentricities so long as the eccentricity does not overly impinge on them. This type of tolerance reminds me a bit of Miles when I was growing up - it was disappearing then, but there was still some of it lingering in peoples' attitudes.

Local government is small, personal, and more than happy to ignore you. The police chief is a straight talking lawman right out of a Louis L'Amour novel - he could easily pass for a Sackett : -)

But I simply don't know if we will stay for good. I have some old injuries that trouble me when it is cold and when it is damp - which is just about 400 days a year here. I had been toying with the notion of moving to southern New Mexico before we suddenly said "what the heck" and moved here. I still might like to give the desert a try.

But as I said, we are playing it by ear.

>>and what do you miss about MT??

Roads ; -)

That's hard for me to say - a well defined sense of place and understanding of what Montana was and is and where I (perhaps) fit into all of that. So maybe it's safest to just say . . . most everything - even the stuff that irritated me : -) : -)
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Posted by Nancy Wallick (+61) 13 years ago
"They are tolerant of eccentricities so long as the eccentricity does not overly impinge on them. This type of tolerance reminds me a bit of Miles when I was growing up - it was disappearing then, but there was still some of it lingering in peoples' attitudes."

I enjoyed this thought and it got my thoughts rolling. I do miss that backbone of society I assumed was everybody's life. I am trying to remember specifics.

We who grew up in Miles have this tenet as a part of us. Hearing about your present day life gives us all good memories. Thanks for that description Hal. Colorful characters are great to remember and laugh about.
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Posted by mule train (+1050) 13 years ago
Alaska could not produce another drpo of crude ever again. and the people would still get their pfds

Too bad the cities don't get pfds...most of the ones were broke when i lived there
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Posted by howdy (+4950) 13 years ago
Hal,
Your description almost makes one feel a part of the landscape and life there...You should definitely write a book...It is in your DNA I think...Thanks for the wonderful description and good luck to you and your wife in your adventures....
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Posted by Big Dave (+441) 13 years ago
As much as it pains me to offer something up in one of these threads, I will grit my teeth and do it anyway.

If I am not mistaken, states get a cut of the royalties from oil produced on federal lands within the state (at least I know Montana does). The state gets a payment which is then shared with the counties where the oil is produced commensurate with the amount of oil produced. If Montana had the kind of oil resources that Alaska does, we could all probably get checks too.

I'm not sure if things are different in Alaska but that's the way it works here.
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Posted by shannon gamber (+20) 13 years ago
no thats not what i'm saying if palin was there to fight for the poeple of alaska then she will fight for everyone of the U.S.A don't put words in my mouth.

[This message has been edited by shannon gamber (edited 9/6/2008).]
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Posted by Montana Kid (+120) 13 years ago
I miss the thread about the German Shepard needing to get laid.
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