Just days after Texas tripled its film and TV production tax incentives, Nevada has gotten into the game. Gov. Brian Sandoval has signed the state’s first program aimed at luring productions away from California and elsewhere. Starting Jan. 1, productions that shoot at least 60 percent in-state and spend $500,000 to $40 million there will be eligible to earn a transferable tax credit worth 15%-19% of their in-state qualified expenses up to $20 million. The tax credit can be used on all Nevada cast, crew, labor, materials, rentals and such. The bill, introduced in February by Sen. Aaron Ford, D-Las Vegas, moved quickly through the Legislature. It establishes a pilot program to be operated by the state Office of Economic Development. The OED will stop taking applications at the end of 2017, but those with unused credits will get the benefits until the program expires on June 30, 2023. Among those who testified for the state legislature to approve the program was Nicolas Cage. The actor went to Reno in May to speak with state officials.
The Lone Star State just ponied up some serious bucks to bring film and TV production to Texas. Last week the state Legislature voted $95 million for use by its Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program for the next two years. That’s a jump of $63 million from the program’s present level. Senate Bill 1 now moves to Gov. Rick Perry to sign into law. The state’s program was set to expire in August if it had not been refunded.
The bounce up from the program’s current $32 million level was in part due to $68 million allocated from the state’s Hotel Occupancy Tax. Like many states around the country, Texas has started offering lucrative incentives in recent years to lure production. The $95 million is the most Texas has ever committed to its TV and Film incentive program. The previous high was $63 million allocated in 2009 only to be cut to $32 million is statewide program budget cuts in 2011. While nowhere near the $420 million that New York offers annually, the newly approved Texas’ program is just a nose behind the $100 million that California awards producers and filmmakers every year under a lottery system.
New York State has seen a dramatic rise in recent years in film and television production and jobs, says a report released today by the MPAA. Employment in the industry in the state grew by 25% between 2008 and 2011, according to the study (read it here) conducted by HR&A Advisors for the MPAA. The approximately 46,100 jobs and 135 productions in New York in 2011 are a direct result of the state’s tax credit, says MPAA chairman and CEO Chris Dodd — a clear comparison to the sagging situation in Los Angeles County and California. “These findings further confirm that the New York State production incentives have grown into a major economic driver in the state’s economy,” said Dodd. That’s translating into this year, too: As of mid-November 2012, film and TV spending in New York State is at $1.9 billion, more than previous high of $1.83 billion from 2008 and with six weeks left in the year. TV series Law & Order SVU, Blue Bloods and Elementary are among those that film in New York. Disney’s The Avengers partially shot there last year and Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf Of Wall Street is among the features shooting there right now.
An extension of California’s $100 million annual film and television tax credit program leaped through another legislative hurdle today. With a 32-3 vote in Sacramento, the state Senate approved extending the program two more years. The measure, …
“The rumors are true,” a North Carolina TV station announced when the governor flew to the hometown movie studio to break the news this past week. “Tony Stark and the third installment of the Iron Man movie franchise will fly into Wilmington.” Great news for North Carolina maybe but for the Los Angeles movie and TV community it felt like a punch in the gut. Thanks to the state’s generous 25% production credit, North Carolina’s EUE/Screen Gems Studios sealed the deal. Manhattan Beach-based Marvel Studios considered making the third movie in Los Angeles just like the first two, but the 25% credit proved too hard to resist. California has a 25% credit — which excludes big budget studio productions. Marvel also considered Michigan and New Mexico but North Carolina won out because of the size of the facility as well as the tax credit.
The battle over tax breaks for California film and TV production intensified today as scaled-back, pared-down legislation moved to the state Senate for final consideration. An extension of California’s showbiz incentive program (Assembly Bill 1069) was cut down from 5 years to just one year by the state Senate Appropriations Committee. The Assembly in May passed a version that would have extended the $100M per-year credit program through 2014. That time element could still be adjusted in the Senate, but the cutback is indicative of the scrutiny expenditures of any sort are receiving as the Legislature struggles with the state’s $9B budget shortfall.
Critics say California has far more crucial spending priorities than handouts to a wealthy industry at taxpayer expense and want to eliminate the tax breaks altogether. Industry advocates say the state needs the incentives to compete with other states offering similar or greater tax breaks to film/TV producers. They point to a study released in June by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp, which said the program has brought $3.8B in economic output and supported 20,040 jobs since its inception in 2009.