Here is an update of state incentive information which is listed on our website at: http://www.marklitwak.com/resources/domestic_programs.html
Incentive information: http://alabamafilm.org/filmakerincentives.htm
Film office: http://www.alabamafilm.org
Linda Swann, Film Office Director
Alabama Center for Commerce
401 Adams Avenue
Montgomery, AL 36104
Phone: 334-242-4195 or 334-353-0221
There are no incentives available in Alabama. The exemption from sales tax and lodging tax has expired.
Film office: http://www.commerce.state.ak.us/oed/film/home.cfm
Alaska Film Program
P.O. Box 110804
Juneau, AK 99811-0804
There is no sales tax and no income tax in Alaska.
Incentive information: http://www.commerce.state.az.us/finance/motionpic.asp
Film office: http://www.commerce.state.az.us/Film/default.asp
Harry Tate, Director
Arizona Film Commission
3800 N. Central Ave. Bldg. D
Phoenix, AZ 85012
Income Tax Credits
Provides for transferable income tax credit for costs in Arizona based on total costs paid in AZ, as follows:
• $250K - $1M gets a 20% credit.
• $1M - $7M gets a 30% credit.
The cap on the amount of tax credits a production can receive is capped at $7 million.
Additionally, AZ now offers an infrastructure credit equal to 15% of the investment.
All incentives are subject to a production company’s qualification as an exempt company, with such limitations including but not limited to employing 50% AZ residents full-time (2008-2010).
Tax credits are reserved on a first-come basis; credits still remain, and applications are now being accepted. All funds have been allocated for 2007. Applications for 2008 are now being accepted. There is $50 million available in 2008.
Transaction Privilege Tax Exemption
Machinery, equipment, other personal property, leases, rentals of lodgings, catered food and drink, and construction contracts used in the production of a motion picture are all exempt from Transaction Privilege Tax.
Use Tax Exemption
Machinery, equipment, and other tangible personal property used in the production of a motion picture are exempt from use tax.
Film office: http://www.film.ca.gov
Amy Lemisch, Director
California Film Commission
7080 Hollywood Blvd., Suite 900
Hollywood, CA 90028
Stefanie Coyote, Executive Director
San Francisco Film Commission
The California Film Commission facilitates all aspects of the filmmaking process and provides production and troubleshooting assistance. Free on-line permits for state property locations (parks, beaches, roads, prisons, etc.); no location fees for state properties; and, coordination with a network of 50 in-state film commissions providing localized support services for filmmakers.
Hotel Occupancy Tax Exemption
There is no state hotel occupancy tax. Most cities or counties that impose a local hotel tax have a tax exemption for occupancies in excess of 30 days.
Sales Tax Exemption
There is a 5% sales tax exemption on production or postproduction equipment. (Exemption is taken by the seller of the equipment and passed on to the buyer at the point of purchase.) There is no sales tax on productions services.
FilmL.A., Inc. coordinates permitting for the City of Los Angeles, sections of Los Angeles County and other local jurisdictions. Their Production Planning team helps productions navigate a range of location filming logistics. The City of Los Angeles waives location use fees at many frequently filmed City facilities including City Hall, city-owned office buildings and property and all public library facilities.
San Francisco Film Rebate program is a refund of all city costs in the city. Also, the city refunds a portion of hotel, sales tax, and all San Francisco payroll taxes. Productions with a budget of $3 million or less must shoot at least 55% of principle photography in the City of San Francisco. Productions with budgets over $3 million must shoot at least 65% of principle photography in the City of San Francisco. Per production cap is total City taxes paid.
Film commission: http://www.coloradofilm.org
Kevin Shand, Executive Director
Colorado Film Commission
1625 Broadway, Suite 1700
Denver, CO 80202
Any production company that spends at least 75 percent of its production expenditures in Colorado on qualified local expenditures and at least 75 percent of payroll expenditures on local hires can claim an incentive payment. If the film originates in Colorado and total qualifying expenditures are at least $100,000, the incentive will be equal to 10 percent of the total qualifying expenditures. If the film does not originate in Colorado, but total qualifying expenditures are at least $1 million, the incentive will be equal to 10 percent of the total qualifying expenditures. Only $600,000 is available across all productions every year.
Hotel Occupancy Tax Rebate
Colorado hotels may offer a sales tax rebate for stays of 31 days or longer. As the rebate is discretionary, ask before booking your stay. Colorado offers no other incentive programs.
Incentive information: http://www.cultureandtourism.org/cct/cwp/view.asp?a=2126&q=302556&CCTNAV_GID=1637
Film, Video & Media Office: http://www.ctfilm.com/
Heidi Hamilton, Director
Connecticut Film, Video & Media Office
805 Brook Street, Building 4
Rocky Hill, CT 06067
Phone: 860-256-2724 or 860-256-2800
A 30% tax credit is available for qualified productions with expenditures over $50,000 in the following areas:
Optioning or the purchase of any intellectual property including, but not limited to, books, scripts, music or trademarks relating to the development or purchase of a script, screenplay or format, provided:
-The intellectual property was produced primarily in the state.
-75% of the qualified production based on such intellectual property in produced in the state.
-Production expenses or costs for such optioning or purchase are less than 35% of the production expenses or costs incurred in the state.
Expenditures for production of a motion picture and other costs directly associated with the production.
Expenditures for mass market distribution of a motion picture including marketing and duplication costs in any format.
In addition, state law waives the 6% sales and use tax for the purchase, rental or lease of most equipment and materials used in production. The state also provides a number of fee-free locations, and the hotel tax is waived for days numbering beyond 30. In addition, a five-year exemption on local property tax is provided on machinery and equipment used in motion picture, video and sound master recordings.
Incentive information: http://dedo.delaware.gov/filmoffice/information/incentives.shtml
Nikki Boone, Liaison
Delaware Film Office
99 Kings Highway
Dover, DE 19901
Delaware has no sales tax, personal property, or inventory taxes. Permit fees are low and generally negotiable. The state has no other incentives directly targeted toward filmmaking.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Film office: http://www.film.dc.gov
Crystal Palmer, Commissioner
Office of Motion Picture and Television Development
410 8th St. NW, 6th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20004
A refundable grant equal to the lesser of: 10% of the qualified expenses or 100% of the sales/use tax paid to DC. To qualify, the film or television project must spend at least $500,000 and film five or more days in DC.
Incentive information: http://www.filminflorida.com/ifi/incentives.asp
Film office: http://www.filminflorida.com
Paul Sirmons, Commissioner
Governor's Office of Film and Entertainment
Executive Office of the Governor
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001
Phone: 877-FLA-FILM (toll-free) or 850-410-4765
Susan Simms, Los Angeles Liaison
Governor's Office of Film & Entertainment
5426 Simpson Avenue
North Hollywood, CA 91607
A qualified production is eligible for a 15% tax credit based on at least $625,000 in qualified expenditures for the entire run of the project. Production is capped at $25 million. The qualifying productions will be placed into one of two queues depending on the nature of the production. Money will be distributed, subject to appropriation, to the productions in queue and then on a first come-first serve basis.
Sales Tax and Use Exemption
Qualified motion picture, TV motion picture, TV series, commercial advertising or music video production and sound recording companies engaged in Florida may be eligible for a sales and use tax exemption on the purchase or lease of certain items used exclusively as an integral part of the production activities in Florida.
To help rebuild Florida as a 12-month production state, FL offers a 5% off-season bonus from June through November (hurricane season) to many productions. FL also adds a 2% bonus for family-friendly films.
Qualified Target Industry Refund
Companies creating jobs in motion picture production in Florida, excluding location filming, are eligible for a Qualified Target Industry (QTI) Tax Refund. Pre-approved applicants who create jobs in Florida receive tax refunds of $3000 per new job created, and $6000 in an Enterprise Zone or Rural County. For businesses paying 150% of the average annual wage, add $1000 per job; for businesses paying 200% of the average annual salary, add $2000 per job. For more information about this program, call Enterprise Florida at 850.488.6300.
Rural & Urban Job Tax Credit Programs
Companies creating jobs in any of Florida’s 15 designated rural counties and 15 designated urban areas can qualify for tax credits from $500 to $2000 per qualified job. For more information contact the Office of Tourism, Trade & Economic Development at 850.487.2568.
Business that create jobs within an enterprise zone may be eligible for additional tax credits, including a sales and use tax credit, tax refund for business machinery and equipment used in an enterprise zone, sales tax refund for building materials used in an enterprise zone, and a sales tax exemption for electrical energy used in an enterprise zone. For more information contact the Office of Tourism, Trade & Economic Development at 850.487.2568.
Film office: http://www.filmgeorgia.org
Bill Thompson, Director
Georgia Film, Video & Music Office
285 Peachtree Center Ave., Suite 1000
Atlanta, GA 30303
Investment Tax Credit
Georgia offers a 9% investment tax credit on productions that spend at least $500K in the state in a single year. Salaries of both residential and out-of-town hires may be included in the tally (cap of $500,000 per person per production). An additional 3% credit will be awarded for all Georgia residents and for any expenditure in designated Georgia areas (typically underdeveloped areas). For companies that spend greater than $20M an additional 2% credit will be awarded. Credits are applied to Georgia tax liability. If a company has little or no tax liability in Georgia, credits may be transferred or sold to Georgia-based entities.
Sales and Use Tax Credit
Qualified film producers and qualified film production companies in George are exempt from sales and use tax on most below-the-line equipment rentals/purchases. Most below-the-line materials and service purchases are included in the exemption. Georgia state sales tax is 8%.
Qualified productions include: feature films, television movies and series, commercials, music videos and documentaries that will be distributed to areas outside of the State of Georgia.
Incentive information: http://www.hawaiifilmoffice.com/film/incentives-tax-credits
High Tech Investment Tax Credit information: http://www.state.hi.us/tax/a2_b2_6hi_tech.htm
Film office site: http://www.hawaiifilmoffice.com
Donne Dawson, Commissioner
Hawaii Film Office
No. 1 Capitol District Building
250 South Hotel St., 5th Floor
Honolulu, HI 96813
Refundable Production Tax Credits
Hawaii offers a refundable tax credit based on expenditures in Hawaii on qualified projects. The credit equals 15% of qualified production costs on Oahu and 20% on the other islands. There is an $8 million cap per production.
Qualified High Tech Business Tax Credit
The state’s high tech business investment tax credit provides a 100% return on cash investments in a "qualified high tech business" (QHTB) as state income tax credit disbursed over 5 years (35% credit in the year of investment, 25% in the following year, 20% in the second year following, then 10% each in the third and fourth year following). Qualified research activities include performing arts products such as motion pictures. The credit is designed to give investors a 100% return for their investments of up to $2 million per year per QHTB. The credit applies against Hawaii income tax liability only. The credit can be taken by individuals and corporations paying Hawaii income tax, and by banks and insurance companies against their franchise and insurance premium tax.
Moreover, if money from outside Hawaii is invested, the tax benefits can be allocated to Hawaii investors so they can obtain up to a 150% return. So for example, if a Hawaii investor put up $1,000,000 and an Arkansas investor put up $500,000, the parties could agree to allocate all the tax credits, equal to $1,500,000 to the Hawaii investor (since the Arkansas investor doesn't pay taxes in Hawaii they are worthless to him anyway). So the Hawaii investors get back a % return over 5 years. In return, the Arkansas investor could be given a greater share of the back end, or preferred recoupment.
The production entity would be required to employ, to own capital or property or maintain an office in Hawaii, to have more than 50% of its total business activities related to performing arts products and to conduct more than 75% of those activities in Hawaii. In other words, 75% of the budget needs to be spent in Hawaii. I currently represent a Hawaii company that can serve as the production entity that has received a comfort ruling from the Department of Taxation indicating that the company qualifies as a QHTB eligible for the investment tax credit.
In order to qualify, companies need to stay in business in Hawaii for at least five years, and should have some copyright ownership of the picture. There are many more details but those are the basics.
For additional information about Hawaii’s 100% high tech business investment tax credit, go to http://www.state.hi.us/tax/a2_b2_6hi_tech.htm.
Intellectual Property Royalty Exemption
An individual or QTHB’s royalty income derived from copyrights (and other intellectual property) can be excluded from gross income on its Hawaii state tax return. This exemption applies to individuals, qualified businesses, assignors, licensors and licensees.
Incentive information: http://www.filmidaho.org/page.aspx/250/production_incentives
Film office: http://www.filmidaho.org/
Peg Owens, Marketing Specialist
Idaho Film Bureau
700 W. State Street
Boise, Idaho 83720-0093
Phone: 800-942-8338 or 208-334-2470
Idaho offers an exemption from sales or hotel taxes on lodging stays of 30 or more days. The state offers a rebate on the 6% sales tax when $200,000 is spent on a wide variety of qualifying expenses.
Film office: http://www.commerce.state.il.us/film/
Betsy Steinberg, Managing Director
Illinois Film Office
100 W. Randolph St., 3rd Floor
Chicago, IL 60601
620 E. Adams
Springfield, IL 62701
Production Tax Credit
Illinois offers a 20% tax credit for Illinois productions during each taxable year. An additional 15% tax credit is available for wages paid to Illinois residents who reside in economically disadvantaged areas. Vendors’ Illinois labor costs may also be included in the calculation of the credit. Production companies are asked to make a good-faith effort to hire and train an ethnically diverse team. The credit is transferable one time and can be carried forward up to 5 years. The restrictions on the credit area as follows:
1) limited to the first $100K of wages paid to each employee
2) productions must spend at least $100K on wages for productions over 30 minutes and at least $50K under 30 minutes
3) tax credit has to directly contribute to the production filming in Illinois.
4) The additional credit for labor expenditures for residents of impoverished areas will only be allowed for those employees whose compensation exceeds $1,000.
Hotel Occupancy Tax Waiver
The 14.9% hotel occupancy tax will be waived after a room is occupied for 30 days. After 30 days, the initial stay will also be credited.
Film commission: http://www.state.in.us/film/
Leigh Durbin, Director
Indiana Film Commission
Indiana Department of Commerce
One North Capitol Avenue, Suite 700
Indianapolis, IN 46204-2288
Indiana offers an exemption from both sales and local innkeepers’ taxes for hotel stays of 30 days or more. The state provides certain state-owned properties free of charge.
Film office: http://www.iowalifechanging.com/filmiowa/iaproductions.html
Tom Wheeler, Manager
Iowa Film Office
Kansas allows a production company to apply for a non-refundable tax credit equal to 30% of in-state expenditures. Minimum expenditure to qualify is $50,000 if under 30 minutes and $100,000 if over 30 minutes. The state will fund $20 million over the next 10 years with $2 million cap per year.
This state offers a tax reimbursement of 4.9% on certain film, TV, or commercial projects. Productions must spend minimum of $200,000 per project in the state to qualify.
No hotel occupancy tax for stays in excess of 28 days.
Film office: http://www.filmkansas.com
Peter S. Jasso
1000 S.W. Jackson Street Suite 100
Topeka, Kansas 66612-1354
Phone: (785) 296-2178
Fax: (785) 296-3490
Erin M. Schroeder
1000 S.W. Jackson Street, Suite 100
Topeka, Kansas 66612-1354
Phone: (785) 296-4927
Fax: (785) 296-3490
Kansas allows a production company to apply for a non-refundable tax credit equal to 30% of in-state expenditures. Productions must spend minimum of $100,000 per project over 30min and $50,000 for projects less than 30min in the state to qualify.
Hotel Occupancy Tax Exemption
No hotel occupancy tax for stays in excess of 28 days.
Incentive information: http://www.kyfilmoffice.com/taxrebateinfo.htm
Film Office: http://www.kyfilmoffice.com
Todd Cassidy, Director
Kentucky Film Office
500 Mero Street
2200 Capital Plaza Tower
Frankfort, KY 40601
Phone: (502) 564-3456
Toll Free: (800) 345-6591
Fax: (502) 564-7588
This state offers a 6% sales and use tax refund for qualified production expenditures.
Incentive information: http://www.lafilm.org/incentives/index.cfm
Film office: http://www.lafilm.org
Christopher Stelly, Director of Film & Television
Office of Entertainment Industry Development
1051 North 3rd Street, Suite 173
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70802
Investor Tax Credit
Investors who are taxpayers domiciled and headquartered in Louisiana can claim an investor tax credit if they invest in a nationally distributed feature-length film, video, television program or commercial made in Louisiana in whole or in part. The credit is earned at the time of expenditure.
If the total base investment is greater than $300,000, each taxpayer can take a tax credit of up to 25% of the actual investment made by that taxpayer. If the investor pays for Louisiana payroll on the production, he is entitled to an extra 10% of the LA payroll, except for individuals receiving payment in excess of $1,000,000.
It also offers an infrastructure tax credit of 40% of the investment for the construction of new production facilities or studios.
Film office: http://www.state.me.us/decd/film/
D. Lea Girardin, Director
Maine Film Office
59 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333
Wage Based Incentive
Maine will reimburse 12% of certified production wages paid to employees who are Maine residents and 10% paid to non-residents. No reimbursement for wages in excess of $1 million for any single person. The production must spend at least $250,000 within a 12-month period.
Income Tax Credit
Maine will credit all income taxes that would otherwise be assessed against income associated with the production on productions spending at least $250,000 within a 12-month period.
Sales Tax Exemption
Maine-based production companies and out-of-state production companies working in Maine can apply for sales tax exemptions for equipment and machinery purchases.
Fuel and Electricity Sales tax Exemption
Companies creating film, TV, video and new-media projects in Maine can be exempted from paying tax on 95% of the cost of fuel and electricity used at production sites such as film locations and studios.
Lodging Tax Reimbursement
Production companies staying in hotels for more than 28 consecutive days can apply for a lodging tax reimbursement.
A number of Maine public lands—including many state parks—are offered without location fees.
Productions may borrow—free of charge—furniture and other surplus property from the state of Maine.
Incentive information: http://www.mdfilm.state.md.us/incentives.htm
Film office: http://www.mdfilm.state.md.us/
Jack Gerbes, Director
217 E. Redwood St., 9th floor
Baltimore, MD 21202
(410) 333-0044 fax
(410) 767-0067 HOTLINE
Maryland provides a rebate equal to 25% of the total in-state direct costs incurred while filming on location. The production must spend $500,000 in the state. There is a statewide cap of $4 million, of which $3 million still remains. Wages and salaries of residents and nonresidents qualify for this incentive.
Sales Tax Exemption
Maryland offers an exemption for its 5% sales tax for production expenditures.
Film Office: http://www.mafilm.org
Massachusetts Film Office
31 St. James Ave. Suite 260
Boston, MA 02116
There is a 25% film tax credit on all qualified spending in the state. No caps. No limits. No pre-certification. No pre-application. Minimum spend is $50,000. Credits, once earned, may be sold to any other Massachusetts taxpayer or taken as a rebate directly from the state—whichever is more favorable to the filmmaker. State rebates are guaranteed at 90% of the value of the credit. Companies may carry tax credits forward for up to five years.
Sales Tax Exemption
Production spending in state is also sales tax free.
Film office: http://www.michigan.gov/filmoffice
Janet Lockwood, Director
Michigan Film Office
702 West Kalamazoo Street
Lansing MI 48915
Phone: 800-477-3456 or 517-373-0638
Refundable Sales Tax Credit
Michigan provides a rebate of 12% ($500,000 production expenditures) to 20% (above $5 million) on in-state spending on a sliding scale. The cap is $2 million per production. The annual amount available overall is $7 million per tax year.
Following the Federal American Jobs Creation Act, investors in qualifying film and television productions may elect to immediately deduct the cost of qualifying film expenditures in the year the expenditure occurs, with the aggregate cost of the film not exceeding $15 million ($20 million in low income areas). A 9% deduction can also be applied to the net income of a qualifying production.
Incentive information: http://www.mnfilm.org/board/incentives.asp
Film Office: http://www.mnfilm.org
Lucinda Winter, Executive Director
Minnesota Film and TV Board
2446 University Ave. West
St. Paul, MN 55114
Minnesota offers a 15 percent rebate for the cost of production. At least 60% of the film must shoot in the state. Only expenses for resident cast/crew are qualified. Purchases, rentals, and services must be from local vendors to qualify.
TV Commercials are exempt from the 6.5% state sales tax.
All production personnel who stay in a hotel or other lodging under a lease agreement for 30 days or more are exempt from state lodging tax.
Film office: http://www.visitmississippi.org/film/
Mississippi Division of Tourism
Woolfolk State Office Building
501 West St
Jackson, MS 39201
Post Office Box 849 Jackson, MS 39205
Hot Line: 601.359.2112
Ward Emling, Manager
Productions are entitled to a 20% of the first $1 million of local spend, sliding up to 30% of the local spend over $5 million. All local payroll included. Wages for out-of-state residents qualify for a 10% rebate. Maximum rebate of $5 million per project.
Sales Tax Exemption and Reduction
Many production materials are exempt from the state’s 7% sales and use tax. Sales and use tax on production equipment purchases are reduced by 5.5%.
Incentive information: http://www.missouribusiness.net/film/incentives.asp
Film commission: http://www.missouribusiness.net/film/
Jerry Jones, Director
Missouri Film Commission
University of Missouri
165 McReynolds Hall
Columbia, MO 65211
Kansas City Film Commission
Toll Free: 800-767-7700 ext 3872
Qualified film production companies can receive a state income tax credit of up to 50% of the company’s expenditures in Missouri necessary for the making of a film, not to exceed $1,000,000 in tax credits per project. The tax credit is fully assignable, that is, the entity earning the credits may apply them against state income taxes or corporate franchise taxes, or they can be sold or transferred to another state taxpayer who may then apply them to their Missouri income tax liability.
The credits can be applied when earned or carried forward for up to five additional tax periods. To qualify, the production company must spend $300,000 or more in state on expenditures necessary for the production of the film. Qualifying expenses include costs for labor, services, materials, equipment rental, lodging, food, location fees and property rental.
Note that Missouri will only grant $1.5 million in these tax credits per year. Companies must therefore apply as early in production as possible, and must apply before they have selected Missouri as the project’s location.
Incentive information: http://travelmontana.state.mt.us/OURPROGRAMS/Film/incentives.asp
Film office: http://montanafilm.com/
Sten Iversen, Manager
Montana Film Office
301 S Park Avenue, Helena MT 59620
Phone: 800-553-4563 (outside MT only) or 406-841-2876
Info Hotline: 406-444-3960
Montana offers a 14% rebate based on hired Montana Labor. It applies to first $50,000 of wages per Montana resident. The state also offers 9% rebate based on qualified expenditures. The rebate includes hotel and lodging expenditures, production equipment rental, fuel costs, expendables, lumber/construction materials, vehicle rentals, and food expenditures. There is no minimum spending requirement.
No Sales Tax in Montana
Out-of-State commercial vehicles and equipment used exclusively in the production of motion pictures, television, or commercials are exempt from licensing requirements for 180 consecutive days. Other out-of-state commercial vehicles entering Montana require permits.
Accommodation Tax Exemption
Production Companies staying longer than 30 days at the same hotel/motel are exempt from the 7% accommodations tax.
Film office: http://www.filmnebraska.org/
Laurie Richards Nebraska Film Officer
Nebraska Film Office
301 Centennial Mall South, 4th Fl.
Lincoln, NE 68509-4666
Phone: 800-426-6505 or 402-471-3746
Nebraska has no lodging tax after a 30-day or longer stay at the same
Film office: http://www.nevadafilm.com
Charles Geocaris, Director
Nevada Film Office, Las Vegas Office
555 E. Washington Ave., Suite 5400
Las Vegas, NV 89101
Phone: 877-NEV-FILM (877-638-3456) or 702-486-2711
Nevada Film Office, Reno/Tahoe Office
108 East Proctor Street
Carson City, NV 89701-4240
Phone: 800-336-1600 or 775-687-1814
Nevada reduces the hotel tax rate after 30 days.
Permits in Nevada are FREE.
Corporate and Income Tax
Nevada has no corporate or personal income tax.
Film office: http://www.nh.gov/film
Mathew Newton, Film Specialist
The New Hampshire Film Office
20 Park Street
Concord NH 03301
New Hampshire does not levy sales tax, personal income tax, use tax, property tax on machinery or equipment, or capital gains tax. New Hampshire also has no filming permit requirements.
Incentive information: Click on “Filming Regulations & Guidelines” on the Commission home page.
Film Commission: http://www.njfilm.org/
Joseph Friedman, Executive Director
New Jersey Motion Picture & Film Commission
153 Halsey Street - 5th Floor
P.O. Box 47023
Newark, New Jersey 07101
New Jersey offers a 20% tax credit for qualified production expenses if at least 60% of the total expenses of a project are spent in New Jersey, exclusive of post-production costs.
Productions can be eligible to receive loan guarantees from the state of up to 30% of the bank financing, or $1.5M, whichever is less. The criteria for eligibility are at least ½ of the costs must be spent in NJ, at least 70% of the shooting days in NJ; the prevailing wages for workers and the project must possess performance bonds.
Room Tax Exemption
Productions that rent hotel rooms for 90 or more consecutive days during production are eligible for a refund of room taxes.
Sales Tax Exemption
NJ offers a 6% sales tax exemption when purchasing or renting certain tangible properties used in the production of a motion picture or video. Companies must fill out an Exempt Use Certificate to be eligible for the sales tax exemption.
Incentive information: http://www.nmfilm.com/filming/incentives/
Film office: http://www.nmfilm.com/
Lisa Strout, Director
New Mexico Film Office
418 Montezuma Ave.
Santa Fe, NM 87501
Phone: 800-545-9871 or 505-476-5600
Tax Incentive Programs
Productions must choose either the 25% rebate program or the nontaxable transaction certificate program for any given expenditure.
Tax Rebate Program
New Mexico offers a 25% tax rebate on all direct production expenditures including labor that are subject to taxation by the state of New Mexico. There is no minimum spend required, no cap, and no sunset clause. Requirements: no obscene materials, credits must acknowledge filmed in NM, production must agree to pay all financial obligations incurred by film production company, production must publish notice in local newspapers notifying the public the need to file creditor claims, production shall agree that outstanding obligations are not waived should a creditor file late, production must agree to delay filing for rebate until the film office certifies that all requirements are met and production shall enter into an agreement accepting all these terms.
Nontaxable Transaction Certificates
New Mexico offers a sales tax exemption at the point of sale.
Film Investment Program
NM offers a 0% loan, with backend participation in lieu of interest, for up to $15M per project (which can represent 100% of the budget) for qualifying feature films or television projects (animation included). Requirements: film must not contain excessive or gratuitous violence, sexual content, hard language, drug abuse, culturally sensitive material or a combination; at least 85% of the film must be shot in NM; a guarantor for the principal amount of the loan must be in place; a signed distribution contract must be in place; and 60% of the below-the-line payroll and body count must be allocated to NM residents.
NM has instituted a $5 million talent cap, which equates to $20 million in actor salaries. This is a maximum rebate of $5 million for all eligible talent per production qualifying for the NM rebate. This is not per person, but for all talent (including stunts) combined.
Film Crew Advancement Program
New Mexico offers a 50% reimbursement of wages for on-the-job training of New Mexico residents in advanced below-the-line crew positions. New Mexican Supervisors and Keys have the opportunity to hire and mentor qualifying NM crew in advanced positions for this program.
Albuquerque Studios, an 8-stage facility is located 5 minutes from the Albuquerque airport, and offers Hollywood-type services, including 70,000 sq. feet of mill and construction space, plus a welding shop and offices.
Incentive information: http://www.nyc.gov/html/film/html/incentives/incentives_home.shtml
Film office: http://www.nyc.gov/html/film/html/index/index.shtml
Katherine Oliver, Commissioner
The Mayor's Office of Film
Theatre & Broadcasting
1697 Broadway Suite 602
New York, New York 10019
Pat Kaufman, Executive Director
New York State Governor’s Office for Motion Picture & TV Development
633 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10017
Producers can obtain a 10% refundable tax credit from NY State (max per year for all films is $25 million) and a 5% (max per year for all films is $12.5 million) refundable tax credit from NY City on certain expenses. Below-the-line costs are eligible for the credit if a) the production shoots on a set or stage at a qualified facility, and b) at least 75% of the total facility related expenses are born at qualified facilities. Location and other costs are eligible if either a) at least 75% of the location shooting is done in NYC, or b) the production spends at least $3 million on facility related costs.
New York offers a marketing credit for film and television productions that complete 75% of their work in NYC. Outdoor media valued at 1% of NYC production costs will be offered to participating productions for co-branded advertising related to the “Made in NY” production. Examples of advertising using this credit include bus shelters and broadcasting on New York City Media Group Assets. In exchange for the Marketing Credit, productions must make a “cultural donation” to a not-for-profit cultural institution of their choice of .01% of NYC production costs.
"Made in NY"
Available to bona fide productions shooting in the City, the "Made in NY" discount card provides discounts and special offers when presented to participating vendors, including hotels, airlines, car rental and messenger services, banking services, production services and more. New York also offers productions a “Made in NY” logo for films shooting 75% of their movie in NY, a “Made in NY” premiere, and concierge services to introduce out of state productions to New York’s unique locations.
State Only Incentives:
Empire State Film Production Credit gives qualified productions a full refundable tax credit of 10% on most below-the-line costs, including crew salaries, equipment, processing, materials, background talent, etc. Credit is also applicable to preproduction, production, and post-production done in New York State. It includes crew and equipment even if brought in from outside the state. This credit can be applied against New York State taxes.
Incentive information: http://www.ncfilm.com/film_incentives_benefits.asp
Film office: http://www.ncfilm.com/
Aaron Syrett, Director
North Carolina Film Office
301 North Wilmington St.
Raleigh, NC 27601
Production Hotline: 800-232-9227
Los Angeles Office: 310 246-0076
North Carolina now offers a refundable credit (paid directly by the state, after corporate tax returns have been filed) of 13.97% for all amounts spent in state and labor and services used in the state. The actual credit of 15% is subject to state corporate income tax of 6.9%, reducing the effective credit to 13.97%. Cast and crew need not be state residents, as long as state taxes are paid on their earnings.
Production companies must spend $250,000 in NC equal to 15% of in state spending for goods, services, and labor. The maximum tax credit is $7.5 million (for a feature film).
Spending for goods purchased or leased from a North Carolina business, including food, fuel, airline tickets are eligible for the tax credit, as well as spending for services, including compensation as wages, regardless of whether money is paid to residents or non-residents. Everything must be performed in North Carolina.
Qualifying expenses claimed as a credit cannot also be claimed as a deduction under the state’s tax code. Taxable income must be adjusted to conform.
Sales and use Tax Discount
The State’s 1% Sales and Use Tax for film-related purchases and rentals remains in effect, adding to the savings of filming in North Carolina.
Film office: https://www.ndtourism.com/industry/media-links/
North Dakota Tourism Division
1600 E. Century Ave. Suite 2
PO Box 2057
Bismarck, N.D. 58502-2057
Lodging Tax Exemption
Hotel stays over 30 days are exempt from all lodging taxes.
Film commission: http://www.discoverohio.com
Director, Ohio Film Office
Division of Travel and Tourism
77 S High St
Columbus, Ohio 43216-1001
This state refunds the room tax for hotel stays exceeding 30 days.
Incentive information: http://www.oklahomafilm.org/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabindex=3&tabid=6
Film office: http://www.otrd.state.ok.us/filmcommission/
Jill Simpson, Director
Oklahoma Film and Music Office Film
2015 N. Robinson, Suite 600
Oklahoma City, OK 73102
In Oklahoma City: 405-230-8440
Oklahoma provides a 15% rebate on qualified expenses if 50% or more of the below-the-line crew is from Oklahoma (10% for 25%-50% of local crew and 5% if below 25% local crew). The residency requirement is waived for budgets above $30 million. Minimum budget is $2 million of which $1.25 million must be spent in Oklahoma. $5 million have been allocated for this program.
Tax Credit for Oklahoma Film & Music Projects
Oklahoma gives state taxpayers who invest in film or music projects produced in Oklahoma a 25% income tax credit on profits made when those profits are reinvested in another film or music project produced in Oklahoma. Credit cannot exceed Oklahoma taxpayer's liability. Credit is non-assignable and non-transferable
Point of Purchase Tax Exemption
Oklahoma offers to qualified productions on sales taxes paid for property or services to be used in productions. There is no minimum budget or expenditure requirement to take advantage of this incentive. The state’s current sales tax is 4.5%. Local taxes, which vary from city to city and county to county, average between 3% and 4%. The POP tax exemption cannot be used in conjunction with the 15% rebate.
Film office: http://www.oregonfilm.org/
Steve Oster, Executive Director
Oregon Film & Video Office
One World Trade Center
121 SW Salmon Suite 1205
Portland, OR 97204
Kayla Thames-Berge, LA Representative
20% Rebate on all goods/services paid to Oregon vendors. No per production cap, included any cost related to production as long as it is paid to an Oregon-based company.
16.2% Rebate on all production payroll for work done in Oregon. No per production cap, covers all employees, including both Oregon and non-Oregon residents, for whom Oregon withholding applies.
No Sales Tax
No sales tax in the state of Oregon.
Fee-free State Parks
231 state parks covering 96,000 acres of fantastic Oregon scenery, including 362 miles of Pacific shoreline, all fee-free for film productions.
Lodging Tax Waiver
Lodging taxes waived for rooms held longer than 30 days.
Incentive information: http://www.filminpa.com/filminpa/econIncentives.jsp
Film Office: http://www.filminpa.com/filminpa/index.jsp
Pennsylvania Film Office
Commonwealth Keystone Building
400 North Street, 4th Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17120-0225
Pennsylvania offers a 25% transferable tax credit. Max available per year is $75 million. In order to qualify for the grant, 60 percent of the total production expenses must be incurred in Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania provides up to a 20 percent Film Production Grant for film production expenses incurred in PA. In order to qualify for the grant, 60 percent of the total production expenses must be incurred in Pennsylvania. No more than $5 million per year can be awarded.
State Property Free
PA also offers free use of state owned property.
Incentive information: http://www.puertoricofilm.com/incentives/
Film office: http://www.puertoricofilm.com
Deputy Film Commissioner
PUERTO RICO FILM COMMISSION
355 FD Roosevelt Ave. Suite 106
Hato Rey, PR 00918
Phone: (787) 758-4747 x2250
Fax: (787) 756-5706
P.O. Box 362350
San Juan, Puerto Rico 00936-2350
Transferable investment tax credits of 40% are available to investors in film projects licensed with the Puerto Rico Film Commissioner.
• License fee (1% of the total budget).
• Endorsement by Department of Treasury.
• Not less than 50% of the principal photography must take place in Puerto Rico.
• Total tax credit will equal 40% of budget items paid to Puerto Rican residents up to 50% of the cash invested as equity in the project.
• Maximum of $15 million per year.
Tax credits may be sold and purchased. The full value of the tax credit against one’s income tax liability can be used by anyone owning the credit. A market exists for these transactions and the tax credits are generally sold at a discount of 8-12%.
Hotel rooms are available tax free to personnel engaged in production work. Income is subject to a flat 7% tax rate. Dividends or income distributions are 100% tax exempt. Personal property and real estate are 90% exempt from municipal and state taxes. Income is 100% exempt from municipal excise taxes. Net income from the rental of real estate dedicated exclusively to the exploitation of an infrastructure project is subject to a flat 7% tax rate.
Incentive information: http://www.film.ri.gov/taxcredit.html
Film Office: http://www.film.ri.gov/index2.html
Steven Feinberg, Director
Rhode Island Film & Television Office
One Capitol Hill
Providence, RI 02908
Transferable Tax Credit
Rhode Island offers a 25% tax credit for all Rhode Island spending. There are no caps. It also includes salaries for people working on the ground, in RI. The film/TV commercial/video game production must be filmed primarily in the state of Rhode Island and have a minimum budget of $300,000. A majority of the film must be shot on the ground in Rhode Island. No salary cap expenditures.
Incentive information: http://www.scfilmoffice.com/incentives.html
Film office: http://www.scfilmoffice.com
If a production company spends over $1,000,000, it qualifies for:
• 30% rebate on South Carolina goods and services used for production.
• 20% rebate of local crew and cast wages subject to SC withholding tax (10% for those out-of-state). Max of $3,500 per person and salaries exceeding $1 million are excluded.
Sales, Use, and Accommodation Tax Exemption
A production company that spends $250,000 or more in SC within a consecutive 12-month period can be relieved of paying state and local sales and use and accommodation tax in connection with the production of the film.
The South Carolina Film Commission has established a grant fund for the promotion of collaborative production and educational efforts between state institutions of higher learning and motion picture related entities.
Indigenous Production Incentives
Production companies that invest >$500,000 in year in SC are eligible for an income tax credit equal to 10% of investment made in SC.
• Investors in development and/or production of a film may claim an income tax credit of up to 20% of the taxpayer’s cash investment up to $100,000. Credits may not reduce tax liability by more than 50% for any given year. Unused credits may be carried forward 15 years.
• Investors in production facilities may claim an income tax credit of up to 20% of the taxpayer’s cash investment up to $5,000,000 total credits claimed by all investors. Credits may not reduce tax liability by more than 50% for any given year. Unused credits may be carried forward 15 years.
Incentive information: http://www.filmsd.com/filming/default.aspx?id=16
Film Office: http://www.filmsd.com/
Lesa Jarding, Film & Media Rep.
South Dakota Film Office
711 E. Wells Avenue
Pierre, SD 57501
Sales/Use Tax Refund
For expenditures above $250,000, South Dakota will refund any sales/use taxes paid (including out-of-state taxes).
Lodging Tax Exemption
This state exempts state and city tax on lodging stays for 28 consecutive days.
South Dakota has no corporate or personal income tax.
Incentive information: http://www.state.tn.us/film/incentives.htm
Film office: http://www.state.tn.us/film/
Perry Gibson, Executive Director
Tennessee Film & Music Commission
312 8th Avenue North
Tennessee Tower, 9th Floor
Nashville, Tennessee 37243
Toll free: 1-877-818-3456
Production Rebate #1
13% of qualified expenses; 2% added if 25% of the crew is from Tennessee. Another 2% is offered if the company spends at least $20,000 in post production, to acquire music written by a resident or to record music in Tennessee. Additionally, a 15% rebate of qualified expenses is offered if the production company is headquartered in Tennessee. Out-of-state salaries do not qualify.
Production Rebate #2
15% refunded on necessary expenses. Production Company must be headquartered in Tennessee. Minimum expenditures of $1,000,000.
Hotel Tax Exemption
Production Companies are eligible for a refund of Hotel Tax after a room has been occupied for thirty consecutive days. The Hotel Tax is then waived from Day 31 on.
In addition, Sales Tax will not be applied to rooms rented to the same person for a period of ninety continuous days or more. Sales Tax is therefore waived from Day 91 on.
There is no state tax or local income tax in Tennessee.
Ground Transportation Waivers
All truck permits, fees and fuel taxes can be waived except in the case of overweight and/or over-sized vehicles.
State-owned buildings and land are available to filmmakers free of charge. No state filming fees.
Incentive information: http://www.governor.state.tx.us/divisions/film/incentives
Film Office: http://www.governor.state.tx.us/divisions/film
P.O. Box 13246
Austin, TX 78711
Bob Hudgins, Director
1100 San Jacinto, Suite 3.410
Austin, TX 78701
Fax: 512- 63-4114
The state of Texas provides grants, similar to rebates, of 5% for all spending done in-state on a “moving image project,” up to $2 million for feature films, $2.5 million for television programs, $200,000 for TV commercials, and $250,000 for video games. Among other restrictions: at least 70% of the production crew, actors, and extras must be Texas residents, and at least 80% of the project must be filmed in Texas to qualify and only transactions with local vendors qualify. Minimum spending is $1 million for a film or television program, or $100,000 for a commercial or series of commercials.
If at least 25% of production (shoot days) is completed in an “Underused Area,” a project will be eligible to receive an additional grant of 1.25% of the project’s total Texas spend for work done in that area.
On most projects shot in Texas, the production company is 100% exempt from state and local sales tax on much of what is rented or purchased in the form of an upfront exemption.
Productions shooting for more than 30 days are also exempt from the 6% lodging tax on hotel rooms. In addition, the state refunds sales tax paid on fuel that is used off-road (think generators and boats).
Incentive information: http://film.utah.gov/film_incentives/index.html
Film office: http://film.utah.gov
Marshall Moore, Director
Utah Film Commission
Council Hall/Capitol Hill
300 North State Street
Salt Lake City, Utah 84114
800.453.8824 toll free / 801.538.8740
Utah offers a 15 percent rebate to film productions of every dollar spent in Utah. The production must spend $1 million in-state. Wages paid to non-residents do not count. $2 million (out of $4 million) is still available for 2008.
Hotel Room Rates
Utah waives 4.25% lodging tax and the sales tax is waived on rooms where the stay is 30 days or longer.
Incentive information: http://www.vermontfilm.com/filmingvt/taxes.html
Film office: http://www.vermontfilm.com
Joe Bookchin, Executive Director
P.O. Box 129
10 Baldwin Street
Montpelier, VT 05601-0129
Hot Line: 802-828-3680
Email Address: email@example.com
Sales Tax Exemption
Vermont offers Sales & Use Tax Exemptions on the purchase or rental of goods and services used in the making of a motion picture. The goods and services must appear in the film or be used directly in making the print. State sales tax is 5%.
Hotel Tax Exemption
Companies that book in advance and stay in a hotel for 31 days or more are exempt from hotel tax.
For the time that non-resident performers are working in-state, income taxes are assessed at whichever rate is lower, i.e., if the performer is a resident of a state that does not charge income tax, then they will owe no Vermont income tax. If the performer is a resident of a state that assesses a higher income tax than Vermont, they will owe the lower Vermont income tax on their wages earned.
Incentive information: http://www.film.virginia.org/VirginiatheFilmOffice/Incentives.htm
Film office: http://www.film.virginia.org
Rita McClenny, Film Commissioner
Virginia Film Office
901 East Byrd Street
Richmond, VA 23219-4048
Phone: 800-854-6233 or 804-545-5530
Governor’s Discretionary Rebate
A performance-based incentive provides cash rebate at the Governor’s discretion taking into consideration length of filming, job creation, trainees hired, goods and services purchased.
Sales Tax Exemption
Virginia offers Sales & Use Tax Exemptions that are offered at the point of sale (rather than as a rebate). Production items exempted include production facilities, cameras and related equipment, and editing, dubbing and sound equipment. Tangible personal property and some production and crew services are also exempted.
Hotel Tax Exemption
Companies that stay in a hotel for more than 90 consecutive days are eligible for a 3.5% lodging tax rebate. Filming in most state-owned buildings can be done free of charge.
History Film Fund
Virginia created a fund to utilize filmed projects to showcase Virginia's significant contributions to the history of the United States. To qualify, projects must be from an established company with a proven track record of production, have a Virginia history theme, be filmed in the Commonwealth and primarily use a Virginia crew.
Government buildings are offered as locations for no fee.
Incentive information: www.washingtonfilmworks.org
Film office: http://www.filmwashington.com
Suzy Kellett, Director
Washington State Film Office
2001 6th Ave., Suite 2600
Seattle, WA 98121
Amy Dee, Executive Director
1218 Third Avenue, Suite 1515
Seattle, WA 98101
Washington State Competitiveness Fund
Productions with in-state film related expenditures are eligible for rebates up to 20%, with a $1 million cap per production. The minimum budget is $500,000 for feature films, $300,000 for television productions, and $250,000 for commercials.
Washington offers a state sales tax exemption on rental equipment and the purchase of services. There is no state income tax. Production companies can receive a refund on local, state, and special use taxes on rental vehicles used in production. Permitting in Seattle is $25 per day including city owned property. Vendor discounts may be available to productions with budgets between $500,000 and $3 million.
Lodging Tax Exemption
There is also a lodging tax exemption available for stays of 30 or more consecutive days. The production must contract the stay before arrival.
Incentives Information: http://www.wvfilm.com/incentives.htm
Film Office: http://www.wvfilm.com
Pamela Haynes, Director
West Virginia Film Office
90 MacCorkle Avenue, SW
South Charleston, WV 25303
Phone Toll Free: 1.866.6WV-FILM, US and parts of eastern Canada
Phone: 304-558-2200, ext. 382
West Virginia offers a 27% non-refundable, non-transferable income tax credit on all direct production expenditures. There’s a 4% bonus for resident labor.
West Virginia also offers sales tax exemptions on direct-use purchases and rentals, as well as state and local tax exemptions on hotel stays in excess of 30 days.
Incentives Information: http://www.filmwisconsin.net/Incentives/WhatTheyAre.asp
Film office: http://www.filmwisconsin.org/
Scott Robbe, Executive Director
"Where Art & Commerce Meet"
648 N. Plankinton Ave - Suite 425
Milwaukee, WI 53207
Office Phone: 414 287 4251
Mobile: 608 338 6665
Film Production Services Credit
Wisconsin offers a refundable income tax credit equal to 25% of in-state qualified production expenditures (not including wages). Also there’s a nonrefundable income tax credit equal to 25% of the first $25,000 in wages paid to residents for in-state service (not including the wages paid to the tow highest paid employees). Also there’s a nonrefundable income tax credit equal to the sales and use taxes paid on purchases of personal property and taxable services.
Film Production Investment Credit
Wisconsin offers an investment tax credit that can be claimed for investing in Wisconsin based productions. For the first three years of doing business in Wisconsin, the credit is equal to 15% of purchasing personal property and 15% to purchase or remodel real property.
A comprehensive sales and use tax exemption for machinery, equipment and services used in production and post -production. A 0% tax for all film and television services contracted by out of state production companies.
Incentive information: www.filmwyoming.com/incentive
Film office: http://www.wyomingfilm.org
Michelle Howard, Manager
Wyoming Film Office
1520 Etchepare Circle
Cheyenne, WY 82007
Toll Free: 800-458-6657
Wyoming offers up to 15% cash rebate of qualified production costs. Minimum in-state spending is $500,000.
Lodging Tax Waiver
Wyoming waives the lodging tax for stay in excess of 30 days.
ARRANGED TO PREMIERE IN NEW YORK December 14.
Congratulations to our client filmmaker Stefan Schaefer whose feature Arranged opens Friday, Dec. 14that the Quad Cinema in Manhattan. Two young women — one an Orthodox Jew, the other Muslim — meet and become friends as first-year teachers at a public school in Brooklyn. Over the course of the year they learn they share much in common, not least of which is that they are both going through arranged marriages.
For more info on the film, including the trailer, reviews go to: http://www.arrangedthemovie.com/
For info on the Quad Cinema, showtimes, and to purchase tickets in advance go to:
Stefan will be attending Q&A sessions with actors following the 7:30 shows on Friday and Saturday (Dec. 14thand 15th), as well as the Sunday showing at 3:00.