The Incentives Office
U.S. Production Incentives Update
ALASKA -- The new incentives bill SB230 has been submitted to the legislature. The current version provides for a 30% tax credit for all labor (cast and crew) and local purchases, plus 10% more for local labor, with a 2% uplift for rural and 2% uplift for off-season filming. This will be a transferable credit; transferable to Alaskan tax-paying corporations.
ARIZONA - The $50 million fund available for 2008 has been fully allocated. However, backup applications are still being accepted and processed. . Music Videos and Commercials now qualify for the incentive; 5% of the yearly tax credit cap is reserved for this use. There is also a new 15% infrastructure credit available.
CONNECTICUT -- There is still no film commissioner in this state. Brokers are reporting problems with placing the film credits, although recent changes in the law, which expands the base of eligible buyers, should help. Meanwhile, the DOR has taken the position that any Connecticut application filed before July 1, 2007, regardless of when the actual certificate will be issued, will be subject to recapture
ILLINOIS -- The state did not renew its incentive program, which expired on 12/31/2007. The new bill to extend the program through 1/1/2009 has passed the House and is in the Senate. The Film Commissioner hopes that the new program will be in place as soon as the state's budget issues are resolved.
INDIANA -- The proposed bill provides for a refundable tax credit of 15% for expenditures less than $6 million. For qualified productions with expenses in excess of $6 million the credit percentage is discretionary but not more than 15%.
MARYLAND -- Approximately $3 million is now available in this year's program, as a large film was pushed back. Please contact Jack Gerbes, the Film Commissioner, for further details.
MICHIGAN -- New legislation is being prepared that will offer a 40% cash rebate, plus an additional 2% for shooting in certain cities; no caps, except a $2 million max per employee. The minimum spend is $50,000. Also being considered are a tax credit for Michigan residents who invest in films, a low-interest production loan, and a workforce development initiative. Out-of-state residents will qualify. The Governor is very much behind this legislation; more details will follow shortly.
MISSISSIPPI -- Ward Emling, the Film Commissioner, and Dama Chasle are working on a proposal for increased incentives.
NEW JERSEY -- The increase to $30 million per year, which was approved last year but not signed by the governor, has again been presented to a legislative committee. Currently the wait in the queue for New Jersey tax credits is nearly 2 years. Governor Corzine signed the amended version of S2526 which approved an additional $5 million set-aside for digital media.
NEW MEXICO -- The language in the proposed bill requires the performing artist's entity to deduct and remit income taxes in order for payments to the entity to qualify for the tax credit.
SOUTH CAROLINA - The proposed bill increases the annual state fund for the 20% payroll rebate from $10 million to $15 million and allows the unused funds for both the payroll rebate and expenditure rebate to be carried forward.
VIRGINIA - Under the new proposal, it may be possible to get a refundable tax credit of 15% on expenditures and up to 30% of the total VA resident payroll. There is a $7.5 million cap per picture.
WISCONSIN -- Effective January 1, 2008, Wisconsin offers a 25% refundable tax credit for qualified spend (not including payroll). There is also a 25% nonrefundable tax credit on the first $25,000 of resident wages, excluding the two highest paid employees. Scott Robbe, the Film Commissioner, expects a number of productions to start shortly.
COLORADO, IDAHO, and WEST VIRGINIA are working on major changes to their programs.
UTAH, FLORIDA, NEW JERSEY and MISSOURI are out of funds for the current fiscal year, but interested producers should contact the Film Commissioners, as funds sometimes become available.
SAVE THE DATES --
Dama Chasle and Jeff Begun will be moderating panels and participating in a Film Incentives Symposium at the New School's John L. Tishman Auditorium in Greenwich Village on Wednesday April 23, during this year's Tribeca Film Festival. The event is hosted by Tax Credits LLC. Admission will be by a donation to the New School.
They will also be moderating the Networking Summit on Production Incentives on April 11th in Los Angeles. Information at http://filmfinancesummit.com.
Dama Chasle will be part of the Alaskan producer's 2008 tour kick-off which is planned for March 13-17th in Anchorage and Nome.
The Winter U.S. Production Incentives Guide will be available in March.
The Fall, 2007 Production Incentives Guide is still available; for an electronic copy, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you previously requested a Guide and have not received one, please send another request, as we have had to change internet servers.
The Incentives Office
Dama Chasle: email@example.com
Jeff Begun: firstname.lastname@example.org
Incentives Office Phone line (310) 982-1340
Capturing the full financial benefit of a state's film incentive requires intimate knowledge of the program and the parties involved. One must be virtually on location to ensure that a production satisfies each and every requirement of a state film incentive. The Incentives Office is proud to announce Watchdog?, a customized array of services designed to handle the all aspects of the incentive, so that producers can be free to produce.
From preparation of the initial application, to verifying the estimated credits per the budget and monetizing the credits, to receipt of the final tax credit or rebate, maximizing the value of film incentives requires constant monitoring and attention to detail. Often, a multitude of parties, like the Film Commission, Department of Revenue, Department of Commerce, Legal, Accounting, Financial, Insurance and Payroll play an important part. Watchdog? assumes the hub position, orchestrating the roles for optimal and efficient success. No production is too large, or too small, to take advantage of Watchdog?.
With years of experience in production and film finance, The Incentives Office professionals have been frequently consulted to draft workable, producer-friendly film legislation and have developed alliances with key individuals and businesses in the important incentive states. In addition, The Incentives Office maintains strong relationships with critical entities like financing sources, payroll providers, insurers, independent CPA's and tax credit placement specialists.
Please contact The Incentives Office before you green-light your next production to determine which location will deliver the biggest bang for your buck! Each service package is custom tailored and may or may not require a fee.
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