Senate considers reviving film tax credit

   

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — In an effort to draw more film production business to the Show-Me State, Sen. Denny Hoskins proposed reinstating a tax credit this week.

Hoskins’ SB 366 would authorize a discretionary tax credit of 20 percent of qualifying in-state expenses and 10 percent of qualifying out-of-state expenses for film production. If at least 50 percent of the film production is filmed in Missouri, an additional 5 percent tax credit could be awarded.

It would be up to the Missouri Film Commission to determine the percentage of the film project that takes place in the state, Hoskins said. Total tax credits would not exceed more than $4.5 million, Hoskins also told the Senate Economic Development Committee earlier this week.

Sen. Denny Hoskins

As it stands, the bill would sunset six years after it goes into effect unless it was reauthorized.

“Passage of SB 366 would say to the rest of the world that Missouri’s film industry is open for business again,” Hoskins said.

Steph Scupham, vice president of communications for the Missouri Motion Media Association (MOMMA) said there is already a “pipeline” of Missouri-centric stories, and film executives view the state as “unique” because it’s “underseen on screen” and “want to shoot places they haven’t seen a million times.”

“We do believe that we can have an industry here. In fact, I think someday, we might be the next best place to film, and this is the first step in that direction,” Scupham testified before the committee.

And Hoskins’ bill already has bipartisan support. Democratic state Sen. Jason Holsman told The Missouri Times he supports the tax credit and lambasted the fact Missouri has lost projects — based in the Show-Me State — to other places in the U.S. with incentives already in place.

Missouri used to give tax credits for film productions, but the provision sunset in 2013.

Similar legislation is already being debated in the state House, championed by Republican state Rep. Kathryn Swan. The House version, HB 923, was voted out of House Rules Committee on Legislative Oversight on Thursday.

“Since Nov. 28, 2013, Missouri’s been closed for business, having taken down the ‘Welcome to Missouri’ sign for film and digital media,” Swan previously said.

Swan seeks to bring back tax credits for film production companies