JULY 2010 INCENTIVES UPDATES
Unless a special legislative session is called by the Governor, the Arizona film incentives program will sunset on 12/31/10. Ken Chapa, Director of the Arizona Film Office, advises that companies that apply before the end of the year may be eligible to participate in the program for up to 24 months. Nearly $100 million in tax credits remains available; Arizona has post-approved $14.4 million in total incentives, with more expected soon. Interested producers should contact Chapa at firstname.lastname@example.org
California’s entire fiscal year 2010-2011 allocation was spoken for on June 1st, 2010, the first day that applications were accepted. Because some films will not start preparation by the requisite date, funds may become available; interested producers should file an application and get on the waiting list. However, don’t file if you plan to shoot in the next 3 months, as the waiting list will not clear that soon. As of June 15, 2010, there were 40 projects on the waiting list; anyone currently on the list may email the California Film officer to find out where they are on the list.
Florida began accepting applications on June 9, 2010 for tax credits that will become useable on July 1, 2011. To date, over 500 applications have been received for 73 different projects. Applications are still being accepted.
Hangar42, the giant studio complex under construction in Grand Rapids, Michigan (Western Michigan), has come under heavy media and legislative scrutiny after it was revealed that the complex had recently been listed for sale at $10 million, but the company building the studio had filed for over $40 million in infrastructure credits. A legislative aide to a state representative, who had been asked to investigate the deal, had earlier claimed that he was making a substantial profit on tax credits for a studio infrastructure deal. The aide has resigned, and the credit application has not been approved.
In a video posted on M-Live.com, the aide said, “We made a deal where we pay only $4 million, and collect a $12.5 million film tax credit. So how much did the building cost us? We made a profit off the state.” A summary of the various articles is available at http://topics.mlive.com/tag/Hangar42%20Studios/index.html
On the other side of the state, Oakland County, Michigan, will issue more than $28 million of recovery-zone facility bonds, which will be used to partially finance construction of the Michigan Motion Picture Studios facility in Pontiac, Michigan. Previously known as Raleigh Michigan Studios, the project is located in an abandoned General Motors facility and plans to include nine sound stages, offices, and additional production space. It is expected to open by early next year. An unofficial Raleigh Michigan Studios Facebook page is available at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Pontiac-MI/Raleigh-Michigan-Studios/125402088782
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s budget reform package, which includes suspension of the tax credit, was signed into law on June 30th.
‘Law & Order: SVU’, which has been based in NJ, is now moving to NYC. For more information, http://www.deadline.com/2010/06/law-order-svu-leaves-new-jersey-over-nixed-tax-credit-may-move-into-lo-set/
On June 27, the NY Assembly and Senate introduced a revenue bill that would provide an additional $420 million annually over tax years 2010 through 2014 for the Empire State film production credit. Funds for the NY program are currently exhausted. For information, http://assembly.state.ny.us/Press/20100627/
The Pennsylvania Film Tax Credit Program has allocated all funds for the current fiscal year, and the next fiscal year as well. Funds are anticipated to be available again starting July 1, 2011. For more information, please go to: http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/politics/Film-Tax-Credit-All-Dried-Up-94360594.html
Funds may become available if approved projects do not start on time, so interested producers should check with the PA Film Office to see if any films have dropped out of the program.
Virginia’s Governor has signed the state’s first incentives legislation into law. The legislation provides a refundable credit of 15% of all qualified Virginia expenses, or 20% if the project is filmed in an economically distressed area. An additional 10% of qualified Virginia labor is provided for films with production spend in Virginia of $250,000 to $1 million, or 20% for projects exceeding $1 million. $2.5 million is available in the 2010-2012 biennium and $5 million in any biennium thereafter. http://www.governor.virginia.gov/news/viewRelease.cfm?id=204[ Source: The Incentives Office ]