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Fisheries

Alaska House Agrees to Extend and Expand a Salmon Product Tax Credit

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Alaska House Majority
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Legislation passed the Alaska House of Representatives Friday that expands a popular tax credit to include herring. House Bill 204 expands the Salmon Product Development Tax Credit to include herring with the goal of allowing seafood companies to further diversify their product forms. The bill's prime sponsor is Representative Alan Austerman. He believes the herring fisheries in Western Alaska are under-utilized. He notes that only about 10-percent of the harvested herring is actually utilized which results in the rest of the fish ending up in the waste stream. Another aspect of H.B. 204, according to Austerman, is to incentivize more use of fish byproducts across the entire state. The 3rd major component of the bill is to allow additional use of the Salmon Product Development Tax Credit for canned seafood products. H.B. 204 also extends the Salmon Product Development Tax Credit through 2020. It’s been around since 2003. During discussion on the House Floor Friday Representative Paul Seaton from Homer confirmed that the tax credit specifically includes ice-making equipment, which he says has been a vital component to many of the value-added improvements made in Alaska’s fisheries. House Bill 204 was approved by a vote of 38-0 and now moves over to the Alaska Senate for consideration.