Part One of the Incentives Office Year-End Report
Below is an overview of the current state tax incentive programs available in some states for filmmakers. As you can see opportunities vary in different areas. For more information please go to www.theincentivesoffice.com and sign up for their updates.
FLORIDA – There were 69 applications filed during the fiscal year that ended on June 20, 2009 and 29 projects were funded, with a production spend of about $55.3 million in qualified state expenditures. The remainder of the $10.8 million provided for the current fiscal year has been allocated. However, funds could become available again if projects drop out of the queue. There is legislation in draft form to change to a transferable credit, which would make more money available, but no action will be taken before March 2010 when the legislature reconvenes.
GEORGIA – For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2009 direct production expenditures totaled $591 million and the state estimates the economic impact to be over $1 billion dollars. Twenty-six feature films, 93 television episodes, one-offs, and TV movies and specials were produced along with 250 commercials, 36 music videos and 41 video games. Georgia estimated production expenditure exceeds $350 million from July 1 to December 31, 2009. One of the largest GA film tax credits administered by The Incentives Office was for Robert Redford’s “The Conspirator,” which was filmed in Savannah.
IOWA – The state suspended its program because of accounting and reporting irregularities, resulting in great uncertainy for its’ future.
MASSACHUSETTS – The direct spend for 2009 is estimated to be between $200 and $300 million. Although three studios have been announced (Plymouth, Weymouth and Boston), all are still seeking construction financing. There were no changes made in the legislation during 2009 and none are anticipated for 2010. Known for drawing larger film projects, there are no annual, project or per hire caps in Massachusetts.
NORTH CAROLINA – Effective January 1, 2010 North Carolina has approved legislation to increase its refundable credit to 25%. There is no yearly cap or application approval process, but there is a $1 million per hire cap and the state imposes an add-back provision, which effectively reduces the net rebate to a few points less than 25%. Producers are also required to file a state tax return.
OHIO – There’s a new Film Commissioner, Jeremy Henthron and in October, 2009 an incentive was funded providing a 25% rebate, plus an additional 10% for local cast and crew. There’s also $10 million available for the 2010-2011 fiscal year with $20 million being allocated for the following fiscal year. There is a per production cap of $5 million.
PENNSYLVANIA – In 2009 14 film and TV projects were produced in the state. Features included “Blue Valentine”, “The Last Airbender”, “Three Rivers”, “Law Abiding Citizen” and “Unstoppable”. “The Road”, which was filmed in 2008, was recently released. Television shows included Season 7 of “Cold Case”, Season 5 of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and “Teach” with Tony Danza on A & E.
Direct production-related expenses tallied over $250 million, while tax credit funds for the fiscal year ending on June 30, 2009 were reduced to $42 million, with $60 million being allocated for the current fiscal year. On July 1, 2011 the tax credit reverts to the full $75 million per year and funds are available at this time.
SOUTH CAROLINA – Since the fiscal year began on July 1, 2009, South Carolina estimates that production expenditures totaled approximately $45 million, with $10 million in rebate funds being available through June 30, 2010.
WASHINGTON – The financial assistance committed for filmmakers in Washington was $4,616,397 with 7 films and 7 commercials benefiting from the state’s initiative in 2009.
WISCONSIN – The Film Commissioner has taken an indefinite leave of absence and the allotted funds available for 2009 were cut to $500,000.