It’s Saturday, which means it’s time for our weekly look at some of the news about film incentive programs around the country. Now, you know the focus of this site is Oregon’s film and TV industry, and its effect on the state’s economy. It’s important to keep an eye on trends nationwide, though. The film and TV industry is an interdependent organism; what happens around the country affects Oregon’s industry, and what happens in Oregon affects the rest of the country as well.
While each state’s incentive program is different, it’s important to see the “big picture” by keeping an eye on the choices other states have made – to learn from their successes and their mistakes.
So With That…
Alaska’s House of Representatives is considering a bill to extend The Last Frontier’s film incentive program. The House Finance committee heard testimony on the bill this past week where it was noted that the state is in competition with more than 40 other states for film and TV business.
The California city of Santa Clarita reported at an annual business symposium that 2011 saw a record number of film permits issued to production companies. Santa Clarita is the only city in Southern California to offer its own film incentive in addition to the Golden State’s incentive program.
Film and TV workers in Texas are concerned that the Lone Star state is “losing ground” in the competition for film and television business against neighboring states - especially in the wake of the Texas legislature’s reduction to the state’s film incentive program last year.
Minnesota does not currently offer a film incentive program to producers considering locations in the North Star State. Members of the northern Midwest state’s Senate are aiming to change that, however, with a new bill that aims to refund 25% of qualifying costs.
Pontiac’s Raleigh Michigan Studios continues to struggle in the wake of the Wolverine State’s decision last year to cap Michigan’s popular film incentive program. Now that Disney’s Oz: The Great and Powerful has wrapped production in the new studio prospects to fill the facility are becoming increasingly bleak. The facility has already defaulted on one interest payment to creditors, and is expected to do so again.
After passing the state House, Alabama’s effort to increase its film incentive is making its way through the state Senate. While many in the Yellowhammer State support the effort to bring more film and TV business to Alabama (and to smaller communities throughout the state) the Alabama Education Association is beginning to muster resistance.
Georgia is becoming an increasingly popular location for film and television production – a fact that residents of Northeast Georgia are happy to celebrate. In the past year alone, film and TV production has yielded over $680 million of spending in the Peach State.
As the Hunger Games breaks box office records, North Carolina is championing the starring role it – and the Tar Heel State’s film incentive program – have played in the big-budget film. Governor Bev Perdue lauded the spending film production has brought to her state even as a potential remake of Dirty Dancing is considering shooting there. As more attention is paid to North Carolina’s film and TV industry, however, criticism is being brought against the state’s investment in film production.
After boosting its film incentive program last year, Maryland’s legislature is considering a new bill that would capitalize on the program’s success by tripling the amount offered to producers.
And finally, outside US Borders… Canada is seeing two provinces reduce their film-friendly tax programs as British Columbia prepares to phase out its Harmonized Sales Tax, and Saskatchewan announces plans to do away with its program altogether. England, meanwhile, is planning to increase its film incentive program - a move that has been hailed not just in Britain, but in Ireland as well.