• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 33s

State film tax incentive program under fire

By Lauren Maxwell 8:19 AM March 6, 2014

Lawmakers say the program has handed out as much as $40 million in tax credits since its inception in 2008.

ANCHORAGE – Is the State of Alaska’s Film Tax Incentive Program worth the money?

Rep. Bill Stoltze doesn’t think so: He’s sponsoring a bill that would make the program go away.

Stoltze said the program has handed out as much as $40 million in tax credits since its inception in 2008. He said that’s money that could have gone into state coffers.

But Alaskans who work in the industry say the program is working and the Legislature shouldn’t mess with it.

“There’s national commercials, international commercials, there’s a heck of a lot of reality television going on and documentaries being made,” said Steven Rychetnik, owner of the local production company SprocketHeads. Rychetnik says his phone is ringing every day with calls about work or questions about shooting in Alaska.

The program offers a big incentive for local hire. Productions that hire Alaskans can have up to 100 percent of their salaries subsidized. There are also enticements to shoot during the winter and in Rural Alaska.

Supporters of the program are convinced that producers won’t be coming to the state if the tax incentives go away. Many, like SprocketHeads co-owner Carolyn Robinson, said they are frustrated they have to keep fighting to keep it alive. She points out that Gov. Sean Parnell signed an extension of the program just last year that was supposed to keep it running till 2023.

“I feel like people just focus on this program because it’s Hollywood, and in reality, it is not Hollywood, it’s a bunch of Alaskans who are working very hard and who have worked very hard for years to bring this new industry here,” Robinson said.

She said the state should keep it’s promise and let the program do its work.

Stoltze’s bill currently remains in the House Finance Committee for review.

Latest Stories

  • News

    ‘Ghost barge’ in Russia now

    by Rhonda McBride on Dec 19, 7:20

    After a barge was cut loose from a tug during a severe October storm north of Canada, it was dubbed the “ghost barge,” because no one was on it. But somehow it managed to travel 500 miles and remain intact. The Marine Exchange of Alaska, which tracks shipping in the Bering Sea, says it recently […]

  • Sports

    Barrow’s Hepa highlights the T-Bird Classic

    by KTVA Sports on Dec 19, 7:04

    Freshman big man Kamaka Hepa led Barrow to a first-round win against Kodiak 64-26 in the T-Bird Classic Thursday night. Hepa finished the night with 24 points and nine rebounds. In other T-Bird Classic games, Ila Hughes and Charmaine Fabricante led the Kodiak girl’s team over the Service Cougars 59-29. Hughes finished with 17 points […]

  • Lifestyle

    Alone on Denali in January

    by John Thain on Dec 19, 6:45

    Climbing season on Denali is long over, but for Lonnie Dupre, it’s just beginning. The 53-year-old Minnesota man is attempting to be the first person to summit it alone in January. It’s his fourth attempt after trying similar expeditions in 2013, 2012, and 2011. The closest he came was just over 17,000 feet (summit is […]

  • News

    NTSB works to improve safety in Alaska skies

    by Dave Leval on Dec 18, 22:51

    The National Transportation Safety Board has several new investigators to find out what causes plane crashes in Alaska: There are now four in the Anchorage office after the agency recently added two new people. The two additions include the first female investigator in the state, Millicent Hoidal. “It shouldn’t be a surprise,” Hoidal said. “I […]

  • On-Air

    Get Out: Brett takes a phat ride on a fat ride

    by Brett Shepard on Dec 18, 22:25

    It’s been a bleak winter for snow lovers like myself, but that’s not stopping me from getting out. This week I took part in one of the fastest growing sports in Anchorage. “Everyone has a fat bike now. Anchorage is the mecca of fat biking, so it’s great,” said Will Ross, race director of the Abominable […]

  • Weather

    Evening News weather, Dec. 18

    by on Dec 18, 22:01

    Kenai Peninsula and Prince William Sound Mostly cloudy skies with some mountain snow and in the eastern Prince William Sound. Southeast Rain towards the south with rain and snow further north. Interior and North Slope Skies will be partly cloudy. On the North Slope skies will be cloudy with scattered snow showers. Mat-Su Valley Mostly […]

  • News

    Early homecoming brings Christmas surprise for Anchorage third grader

    by Heather Hintze on Dec 18, 22:00

    Sounds of Christmas cheer floated through the hallways at O’Malley Elementary School Thursday morning. The students from Renee Hughes’ third grade class, including 8-year-old Emory Fedd, thought the news cameras were there to hear them sing carols. Instead we were waiting for his mom, Capt. Katrina Fedd, home from deployment in Korea. “It’s the holidays. […]

  • News

    New fire station fills gaps in Mat-Su coverage

    by Shannon Ballard on Dec 18, 21:21

    There’s a brand new public safety building in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough. Central Mat-Su firefighters and EMS are packing up and moving in. Station 51 is the borough’s largest: It cost $8 million and has a lot of unique features, including a drive-in apparatus bay for ambulances and fire trucks, a central warehouse for stocking medical supplies and […]