Film Production Tax Incentives

Submitted by Kevin Cronin on Sat, 03/17/2007 - 23:27.

The list of states considering or adopting film production tax incentives continues to grow.  More than 30 states now offer some form of tax or production incentives, with a few more states preparing to create or expand their incentive packages.  I've previously pointed to Louisiana's success. Tax incentives have helped the state rise in the ranks and Louisiana is now third in the US for film production (behind only CA and NY).  With the hard, diligent work of the Cleveland Film Commission, Ohio took a modest step forward last year, but can we take another step forward to provide stronger incentives to make films here?  The state of Ohio is trailing, while other states continue to move forward.

Let's put the film impact in context for the state of Louisiana.  The Department of Economic Development says the $344 million in 2005 represents a $7 million increase since 2003, the year after the legislature adopted the incentives.  The state says they added about 13,500 jobs in the film sector. 


So, what our some other states doing? 

  • Indiana: The legislature is considering legislation to authorize 25% rebate for media expenses.  The already have a 10% investment tax credits on capital, sales tax waivers and filing fee exemptions.
  • Michigan: Michigan offers up to a 20% refund for production companies spending beginning at $200,000 or more.  Commercials and TV series are also eligible. 
  • Wyoming:  The state passed its first inventive package, feel pressure from its Canada friends.  Iowa , as well as Wisconsin, could be joining them, considering a first legislative package as well.
  • Oklahoma, Utah, Idaho and Colorado are all enhancing there incentive pacakages as well.

Film spending doesn't just create jobs for camera crews and actors, but area hotels, equipment and material suppliers, technicians, caterers and a host of other areas all benefit.  Film spending multiplies many times over as it ripples through the area economy.  Frankly, we could use a bit more rippling. 

Arts in NOLA vs. NEO

I agree, Kevin. But, living in NOLA for around 10 years and knowing the arts there, and knowing the arts here, there is a big difference between the two communities. In NOLA (which is the core of LA) people respect artists and the arts (like they respect chefs). So, artists are able to develop their craft and build their industries from within. Until the people of NEO start knowing and loving the artists (filmmakers and actors and all the film people, who are artists) we are just talking about being one of 30 states with tax credits. Not to say that giving the arts tax credits is wrong, but it doesn't set us apart from 30 other states. People here need to become cultured to appreciate arts of all sorts. This is a tough ask, but it is the solution. We need more Cronins, Levins and Bustas and others who live and push the arts and we need people here to step up and celebrate that and them. We need more Banks and Gillotas and creatives and we need to celebrate them. How much money is provided from all sources to Independent Pictures a year?

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