2018 Alaska General Elections
Do you agree with using a portion of Alaskans' PFDs to fund state government? If not, what government services would you propose cutting or taxes would you propose raising to pay for it?
Do you agree with using a portion of Alaskans’ PFDs to fund state government? If not, what government services would you propose cutting or taxes would you propose raising to pay for it?
U.S. House of Representatives
Since I am running for federal office, I would not be in a position to weigh in on how the state funds the state budget. That being said, I recognize that using Alaskans’ PFD to pay for government is a regressive policy that ultimately hurts our most vulnerable and harms our economy.
Our approach to the state’s fiscal situation should focus on prioritizing increased natural resource development, building a manufacturing base, and spurring more robust economic activity. This is the best course for generating new wealth that supports a healthy state budget. Alaskans are deeply invested in the future of the permanent fund. Considerations as to any potential changes to the fund fall within the jurisdiction of the state, and not within my purview as your representative in Congress. That said, I believe that state leaders have a responsibility to listen to the voice of the people of Alaska when it comes to permanent fund decision-making.
NO. And no taxes either. Cutting, maintaining, or expanding cannot be addressed until the State’s fiancees are put back in order.
I am the only candidate for governor that supports paying a full PFD, using the statutory formula that worked well for decades. I voted against every attempt to reduce the PFD, and I sponsored a bill to pay back to Alaskans the amount of their PFD that was vetoed by Governor Walker. I believe there should be no changes to the structure of the PFD unless it is approved by a vote of the people.
Protecting the PFD is crucial for protecting the health of the entire Permanent Fund because it creates an incentive for legislators to be frugal in spending the unrestricted funds in the earnings reserve account. I support following the law crafted by the founders of the Permanent Fund Dividend program, which allocates 50 percent of the earnings to pay for PFDs. The remaining funds in the earnings reserve can be part of our budget solution only if we reduce our budget to a sustainable level and put limits on future spending growth.
My PFD plan takes the Dividend out of the hands of politicians and protects it in the state constitution, providing certainty for Alaskans. My plan would use the POMV formula and dedicate half of the funding for a stable and strong Dividend, and the other half would be constitutionally-guaranteed for education, pre-K through grade 12. My plan will help to create economic stability and reliable investment in our future. Based on today’s data, my plan would have given every Alaskan a dividend of more than $2,000 this year, while also freeing up $1.3 billion in general funds previously used for education. This approach will put us on a more stable, long-term fiscal path without unfairly penalizing Alaska families and communities who depend on the PFD the most.
I would not use the Alaskans’ portion of the PF earnings to fund government. Further cuts need to be made in DHSS by tightening up how many children are in foster care, controlling waste and fraud, and reimbursing medical providers efficiently. Before a flat-based income tax is ever considered, a 10-percent reduction in payroll and benefits of all state employees should be instituted. No taxes will be considered until all of the finances are audited and department heads have a chance to propose further cuts. No income taxes would be best, but a flat-based tax on both Alaskan residents and out-of-state workers would be the most fair, if cuts do not get us into the black.
The candidate has not submitted a response to this question
Mark’s plan would ensure that a full PFD would be paid out in perpetuity, using the POMV formula to calculate earnings. This reflects Jay Hammond’s vision for the Permanent Fund, with half of the earnings going to the dividend, and half being available for government if necessary. Mark’s plan would ensure that the Fund was inflation-proofed, and that the other half of the earnings would be used to pay for education. This would then free up to $1.3 billion in the general fund, which can be used for other priorities such as public safety, infrastructure, and social services.
House District 33
I believe an income tax with some sort of sunset language makes more sense as it has less impact on lower income families and children. Let those who can afford to give up their PFD use the PFD as a credit towards their tax liability. If we cannot get to an agreement on income tax, then I think we will need to keep utilizing the PFD. I do not believe there is much left to cut without causing serious negative consequences. We should look for efficiencies that may cost additional money upfront, but save the state in the long term. If there are places we can still cut without causing harm to departments or job losses, let’s look at making those precision cuts and transfer and train employees to vacant positions currently open.
I believe we will continue to need to use a POMV (percent of market value) as a part of our long-term fiscal plan.
House District 34
The PFD is critical to families and is a boost to the economy. I support a formula that protects the PFD and provides a robust PFD for generations to come. We are balancing paying for public services that we need and value, like public safety and education, with paying Alaskans their share of oil revenue. I do not think the budget should be balanced by only reducing the PFD.
I would look to efficiencies and improving government through audits, evaluating other states’ successes, and look to staff recommendations. For example, the state of Utah saved $100 million by using a streamlined paperwork system. I would be open to all fiscal solutions to pay for needed services and a robust PFD.
Yes, I agree with the use of the percentage of market value (POMV) approach to balance the budget – at the same time, I believe it is important to revisit the PFD formula to provide economic stability for Alaskans – and avoid the uncertainty caused by the legislature or governor setting an arbitrary amount for the dividend. We must continue to look for efficiencies in state government, responsibly develop our natural resources, continue partnering with oil and gas exploration and production, encourage Alaskans’ entrepreneurial spirit and keep moving forward on Juneau Access. I do not support an income tax and believe it will make it even more difficult for young families and fixed income seniors to live here.
Senate District Q
Yes I agree that we are going to have to use some of the PFD.
I support a constitutional amendment to protect the Fund — one that includes a guarantee of a future dividend for Alaskans. As our state matures from using almost exclusively oil to pay for essential services, we’ll have to use some Permanent Fund earnings to balance the budget. But the PFD is essential to many families and plays an important role in our economy. Our constitution should establish how much must go to a dividend and how much the state can use for services, as well as setting a maximum draw so the legislature can’t ignore the effects of inflation and deplete the fund.