State tones down dividend announcement after attacks

Amount of annual checks to be quietly released this week

Posted: Monday, September 17, 2001

The announcement of the 25th annual Alaska Permanent Fund dividend will get none of the hoopla it usually commands.

The state Department of Revenue has canceled a televised announcement of the amount of the checks, initially scheduled for Wednesday at the University of Alaska Southeast.

The agency instead will issue a press release later this week in deference to victims killed in last week's terrorist attacks, said Larry Persily, deputy commissioner.

"It seemed inappropriate to stand in front of the cameras and say we should all be happy because we have free money," Persily said. "We just felt low key would be better."

The agency has said the dividend checks will be lower than last year's record $1,963 because the fund lost money in the stock market this year. The state estimates it will distribute $1.1 billion in dividends, down about $60 million from last year. The payout is based on a five-year average of net income from the fund, which declined 3.3 percent in market value, according to preliminary numbers.

The Permanent Fund Dividend Division will make direct deposits on Oct. 10 and put the first batch of checks in the mail on Oct. 22, said the agency's Paul Dick, who estimated 70 percent of applicants get their checks by direct deposit. The state hopes to have all checks delivered to Alaskans by Nov. 2, he said.

Meanwhile, the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. also canceled most events planned for its annual meeting in Juneau. The agency initially planned a reception, a dinner and special forums today, Tuesday and Wednesday, but it scaled back the agenda to only a business meeting on Tuesday.

The revised meeting will include a year-in-review report by executive director Bob Storer and a performance review of the fund by Callan Associates. The meeting is scheduled from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at the corporation's offices on 810 West 10th St.

Kathy Dye can be reached at kdye@juneauempire.com.



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