Are the Film Tax Incentives Working for Alaskans?

A new group of Alaska film makers along with industry supporters weigh the benefits of the state's film incentive program.

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by Megan Mazurek

      A new group of Alaska film makers along with industry supporters weigh the benefits of the state's film incentive program.

     The newly formed, Alaska Film Alliance, says the state's film incentive program needs to change  in order to do what was initially intended, to benefit alaskans.
     The Alaska film office offers a base 30 percent in tax credits for qualified productions made in the state. Certain productions may qualify up to 44percent in a transferable tax credit by hiring alaskans.
     The Alaska Department of Commerce released numbers showing that $17.5 million were paid to non-Alaskan worker so far this year.. with less than a million dollars to Alaskan workers.
     "The information about upcoming productions must be more transparent, so that there can be competitive bidding by the professionals in our local film community, said Ron Holmstrom, Alaska Film Alliance. "To date the small group that engineered the passage of the initial program, has managed to become the gate-keepers, so to speak, of the industry."
      Department of Commerce numbers show the film incentive program has led to 464 Alaska jobs this year, compared to 161 non-Alaska jobs.

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