Thursday, September 21, 2006

205. $$$$$

Alaska has the lowest state income tax in the country. Someone reading this is probably from a state with zero income tax and is thinking that we can't be lower than that. Well, we are!!! Aaska, rather than charge people tax, PAYS people to live here! Yes, we have a NEGATIVE state income tax.
This is called the PFD, which stands for "Permanant Fund Dividend". (There are probably people who call it a "PFD dividend." They are the same ones who say "PIN number" and "ATM machine".) It is very democratic; everyone gets the same amount. It goes to every human who has been in the state for the whole past calendar year. (This excludes me since I moved to Alaska last September.
I don't know the formula they use, but this year everyone gets $1,106.96. (BTW, I do NOT think it was necessary for ABC to interupt "Grey's Anatomy" to tell us the amount.)
Just as there is money, there are lots of places inviting you to spend it. Alaska Airlines is announcing a "Paradise for Dreamers" (note the initials) trip to Hawaii from Alaska. Car dealers have ads suggrsting you use the check for a down payment on a car.
And of course there is controversy. A letter in the paper a while ago suggested that the amount of the check should be subtracted from welfare payments. There was letter in the paer recently suggesting that parts of children's PFDs should be put aside for college, with another letter saying that some parents rely on these checks to buy their children necessities like food and shoes, and then a third letter said that food and shoes were necessities which was a parent's obligation to provide and it was wrong to use the children's PFD checks for that.
In Deering some parents let their children blow the money on whatever they like while other parents felt they were entitled to keep the money because they did spend more than that much money for the children. As a treacher, I got to hear some kids complain about that. The same thing happend with the NANA checks. (The North Alaskan Native Alliance is a corporation that the Natives there all get stock in and they get payments once a year.)

Is that in American dollars or Alaskan?
Must be Alaskan dollars since that's the currency that the governor refers to in his Operating Budget.

"Joint ventures with the private sector allow Alaskan dollars to re-circulate within the state's economy."
Shalom from Israel to Northernmost Jew- Ann, Gary, and I would love to chat privately with you but the 3 of us haven't figured out your email addresss yet.Any suggestions?
Shana Tova!
In Israel the mother gets a sum of money when a baby's born, as long as the birth is in the hospital.

In Israel, do they pay that sum in American or Israeli dollars?
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