Sarah Palin has repeatedly declared that the “government should get out of the way.” She has championed less governmental spending, unless of course it was government spending money to pay her. Who could forget the bill signed into law in 2008 by Palin, before she resigned as Governor, allowing a film company or television producer to recover 30% or more of the money spent on a film made in Alaska? In spite of the appearance of impropriety on the part of the Half-Term Ex-Governor, Jean World Wide, the producer of Sarah Palin’s Alaska received a $1.2 Million Dollar Tax credit, funded by the Alaskan Tax Payers, as a result of the law conceived during the Palin administration.
In spite of the fact that Sarah Palin’s Alaska had 23 specific statements of a political nature, and in spite of the fact that Palin admitted that the show was political in nature, the Office of Economic Development still awarded the tax credit. The statute AS.43.231-239 specifically stated that films that constituted a political advertisement, and films that were detrimental to the best interest of Alaskans, did not qualify for the tax credit.
Yesterday the Immoral Minority reported that Helping Hand Production company was making a reality show in Alaska, starring Bristol Palin. Dave Worrell of the Film Division of the Economic Development office has confirmed that Helping Hand Production has applied for a tax credit, but that the information is so new it is not available on their web site yet. He was unwilling to say what the amount of the tax credit would be.
It is interesting to note that the Immoral Minority has also reported that Bristol Palin bought a house on Lake Lucille. Statute AS44.33.234 expressly provides that the tax credit includes 10% of wages paid to Alaska residents. While Bristol owns a home in Arizona
and even told her friends that she was planning to go to college in Arizona, it now appears she intends to create the appearance of being an Alaskan “resident,” so she can take advantage of the additional tax credit for her salary, created during her mother’s administration, at the expense of the Alaskan tax payer. Even though she moved from Arizona to live with Kyle and Chris Massey in LA, it appears that she is now going to attempt to claim that she is an Alaskan “resident.” As late as May 9, 2011 Bristol was reported to have been such good friends with the Massey brothers, that she was moving in with them at their home in L.A.
The bottom line is that Bristol is no longer a resident of Alaska, so her salary should not qualify as appropriate for a 10% tax credit. Moreover, such a show would be detrimental to the citizens of Alaska, and for that reason alone the film should not qualify for the tax credit. Her participation in this, a third appearance on a television series ( Sarah Palin’s Alaska, Dancing with the Stars, and this new show with the Massey brothers) glorifies and rewards a teenager who was unwed, and pregnant. She and her Son, Tripp were featured on the TLC show demonstrating an extremely comfortable life style, complete with travel in a luxury RV, and Bristol going on adventures without the challenge of caring for a young child.
The image of an unwed, teenage mother, as a-much-sought-after television celebrity is false, misleading, and detrimental to the teens of Alaska. The opportunities for celebrity status, buying homes for cash, and earning thousands of dollars Dancing with the Stars, and being recruited to star in reality television shows is rare and not the image of a typical unwed teenage mother. As early as January of 2009 the Center for Disease Prevention reported that teen births increased by 3 percent nationally in 2006, reversing a 15-year decline. Alaska was the number one state in increase in teen births with a 19 percent increase in the teenage birthrate from the previous year.
• Teen pregnancy accounts for more than $9 billion per year in costs to U.S. taxpayers for increased health care and foster care, increased incarceration rates among children of teen parents, and lost tax revenue because of lower educational attainment and income among teen mothers.4
• Pregnancy and birth are significant contributors to high school drop out rates among girls. Only about 50% of teen mothers receive a high school diploma by age 22, versus nearly 90% of women who had not given birth during adolescence.5
• The children of teenage mothers are more likely to have lower school achievement and drop out of high school, have more health problems, be incarcerated at some time during adolescence, give birth as a teenager, and face unemployment as a young adult.6
Alaskans should be particularly concerned about the increasing rise in teen pregnancy rates as Alaska has had increases in teen pregnancy rates in each year since 2006.
In Alaska, the public cost associated with teen childbearing is conservatively estimated to be $32 million in 2004, half paid by the federal government and half by the state. This estimate captures net costs – those costs over and above what would have been incurred if a person with similar characteristics to the teen mother delayed childbearing until age 20 or 21.
While the Film Office has not confirmed that the tax credit has been granted, they have confirmed that Helping Hand Production has applied for it. Given the influence of the Palins in Alaska, it seems likely that the tax credit will be granted, in spite of the appearance of impropriety, and in spite of the fact that that this film should not qualify under the express provisions of the statute.