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Sunday, June 25 2017 @ 07:39 AM AKDT

Governor Signs Bill Ending Film Tax Credits

ArtsJune 16, 2015 ANCHORAGE—Governor Bill Walker announced today that he signed SB 39 into law yesterday, ending the state’s film production incentive program.

“This was a very difficult decision for me,” Governor Walker said. “I have been, and remain, a strong supporter of the film industry in Alaska. However, we are now facing unprecedented financial times. As we prepare to lay off troopers and close at least two trooper stations, it is difficult to justify continuing this program. The film tax credit program is already set to sunset in 2018 and we just don’t see oil prices bouncing back before then.”

Since 2009, the state has paid approximately $9 million per year in film tax credits.

“This does not mean our administration is not supportive of this important industry,” Governor Walker said. “We will continue to field inquiries from companies interested in filming in Alaska. We will also continue to work with organizations such as the Alaska Film Group, and look for ways to ensure any film work done in Alaska takes full advantage of Alaskans working in that field.”

The Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development’s Division of Economic Development will continue to work with the private sector for the development of film production in Alaska, and provide production assistance through connecting film directors and producers with Alaska location scouts and contractors.

“I know this will not be a popular move,” Governor Walker said. “However, now is not the time for popular decisions. Now is the time to make tough decisions, and this has certainly been a tough one for me. Given our fiscal situation, this won’t be the last of these difficult decisions.”

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