Hawaii Film Blog

Sunday, October 14, 2007

15% No Longer Enough

Remember the days when a 15% tax credit was enough to lure a production to your neck of the woods? Well, apparently, that's no longer the case.

New York City, for example, has been pretty quiet lately. Its 15% combined city/state tax credit had generated record-breaking production levels shortly after it took effect, but the state is now losing production to nearby states with bigger, shinier new tax credits like Connecticut (30%), Rhode Island (25%), Pennsylvania (25%), Massachusetts (25%), and New Jersey (20%), and to not-so-nearby stalwart production states New Mexico (25%) and Louisiana (25%).

My next point has been made ad nauseum (I feel like I've read the same "film tax credits are great" article a thousand times...and if I read another "Lights, Camera, (state)!" title, I will surely barf), but again, just to illustrate the sudden impact a generous film tax credit can have on a state: before CT enacted its 30% credit in July 2006, only $1 million was spent there by productions in the first 6 months of 2006. Since July 2006 (a little over a year ago), $300 million has been spent there.

The Canadian provinces, which pioneered production tax credits, know this numbers game. They have been losing business to the states ever since Louisiana passed its original tax credit. Nova Scotia, for one, isn't going to take it lying down. The province recently passed a 50% production tax credit, with an extra 10% off for filming in rural areas...that's 60% (yes, 6-0-per-cent)!

Makes you wonder how long before Hawaii's (apparently piddling) 15-20% tax credit stops attracting productions. And then what do we do? Raise the tax credit to 25%? 30%? 60%? 100%?

>> Movies stampede to states with generous tax incentives [The Journal News, 9/16/07]
Lights, Camera, Norwalk! [Norwalk Citizen-News, 10/11/07]
>> With glitter and gleaming tax credits, Boston draws the stars [Boston Globe, 10/10/07]
Facilities fuel New Mexico production boom [The Hollywood Reporter, 9/18/07]
After a busy 2007, next year looks thin for moviemaking [Chicago Tribune, 9/2/07]
>> Soaring loonie causes uncertainty for Canadian film and television production [The Canadian Press, 9/23/07]
>> Nova Scotia film tax credit could take business from New Brunswick, say producers [CBC News, 9/18/07]

>> 2006 Was a Very Good Year
>> Hawaii Ranks #5 in Top 10 Places to Shoot in the US
>> >Revised Film Tax Credit Forms & New FAQs
Here Come the Film Tax Credit Scandals
More Film Tax Incentive Success Stories
>> New Mexico + Hollywood = "Tamalewood"
NYC: Victim of Its Own Success (Again)?
Everyone Else Is Doing It...
Hollywood Returns to Big, Easy Incentives
States Cannibalizing States
Beantown as Tinseltown
Our Loss is Their Gain
Incentive Mania

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