Luxury tax documentary to air on N.J. public television

CALDWELL, N.J. — “The Rising Tide,” a documentary about the 1990 luxury tax told from the point of view of Viking Yachts, is scheduled to air the week of June 22-29 on New Jersey public television. According to producer SLU Productions, the film “tells the story of how a tax that was meant to affect only America’s wealthiest citizens nearly destroyed an entire industry.”

“The Rising Tide” will air on NJN 2 at 4 a.m., 10 a.m., 4 p.m. and 10 p.m. each day during the week. In addition, DVDs of the documentary, which include the producers’ cut that was seen on the film festival circuit in addition to the broadcast version, are available at

The film, directed by George Valencia and shot on site at Viking Yachts’ New Gretna, N.J., headquarters, looks at the effect the tax had on the Healey family, owners of Viking Yachts, and their employees.

“Viking Yachts was a successful, family-owned boat builder prior to the 1990 Luxury Tax,” Robert Slusarczyk, managing director at SLU Productions, said in a release. “The Healey family risked their entire life savings to fight the tax and to keep their business solvent. SLU Productions is extremely proud to have worked with the Healey family to bring their struggle to the awareness of others.”

The film has won several awards, producers said, including Best Documentary at the 2008 Pocono Mountain Film Festival as well as Honorable Mention at the Wildwood By The Sea Film Festival and The Accolades Competition.

“Viking Yachts endured extreme hardship after the tax was imposed,” Pat Healey, president of Viking Yachts, said in the release. “The entire Viking business, which included more than 2,000 employees in 1990, was nearly decimated as the luxury tax made our products uncompetitive in the world market. We appreciate the efforts of SLU Productions to tell our story to the American public.”

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