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New US Film Incentives Introduced in Arizona, Indiana, Florida, and West Virginia

As production continues to boom, new tax credits and other programs welcome industry to new locations across the country.
August 23, 2022

Joseph Chianese

EP-New US Incentives 2022-2.

The 2022 legislative session has come to a close, with a record number of new and expanded production incentives across much of the US. Seeing how filmmaking is bolstering economies in places like Oklahoma and Oregon, it’s no surprise that other states are starting to catch the movie-making bug too!

Let’s take a deeper look at four of the recently passed pieces of legislation creating new film programs and tax incentives available to both independent and studio filmmakers alike.

Arizona: House Bill 2156

The newly introduced Arizona Motion Picture Production Program is an annual film and TV tax incentive that will offer qualified productions up to $75 million in 2023, $100 million in 2024, and $125 million in 2025, with increases to continue thereafter.

Designed to attract the film industry for the long-haul, HB 2156 will ensure investments in infrastructure, creation of jobs, and a true integration into the local economy for years to come. Most recently, 'Duster', the JJ Abrams’ TV series for HBO, brought approximately $65 million into Arizona through local labor, production spend, hotels, food, craft services, and more.

The Arizona Motion Picture Production Program goes into effect in 2023 and will last until 2043.

Incentive structure:

  • Productions that spend up to $10 million receive a 15% refundable tax credit
  • Productions spending $10 million to $35 million are eligible for a 17.5% refundable tax credit
  • Productions spending over $35 million receive a 20% refundable tax credit
  • Productions can earn an additional 2.5% uplift for the following:  
    • 2.5% on below-the-line resident labor costs 
    • 2.5% of the total amount of qualified production costs if: 
      • The production company uses a qualified production facility in the state to produce the motion picture production, or
      • The production company films primarily at a practical location, produces, and films the project primarily in Arizona and performs all preproduction, postproduction and editing at an in-state qualified production facility 
    • 2.5% of the total amount of qualified production costs if the production is produced and filmed in association with a “long-term tenant”, as defined, of a qualified production facility 

Indiana: Senate Bill 361

On March 15, 2022, Governor Eric Holcomb signed SB 361, creating the Indiana Film and Media Production Tax Credit program, a much-anticipated law that will attract new industry to the state and encourage economic growth. Productions eligible to receive the incentive include film, television, documentaries, and other digital media.

This 30% Nonrefundable/Nontransferable Tax Credit applies to local production spending and Above the Line (ATL)/Below the Line (BTL) for resident/non-resident crew members, including pre-production and post-production.

The Film and Media Production Tax Credit program is limited to $300 million each fiscal year in funding for qualified projects.

Broward County/Fort Lauderdale, Florida: Resolution No. 2021-518

This new legislation established a film, television, and entertainment production project incentive program in Broward County, Florida, offering monetary rebates for qualified productions in two tiers:

Primary Tier

  • Establishes a rebate of 15% on qualified Broward County expenditures 
  • Up to $175,000 may be issued to a single production
  • Limits qualifying salary to the first $100,000 paid to each resident worker
  • 60% of production days must be filmed in Broward County to qualify

Secondary Tier

  • Establishes a rebate of 10% on qualifying Broward County expenditures
  • Up to $100,000 may be issued to a single production
  • Limits qualifying salary to the first $100,000 paid to each resident worker
  • 60% of production days must be filmed in Broward County to qualify

Broward County Film Commissioner, Sandy Lighterman (former film commissioner of Miami-Dade County), joined a recent Master Series panel to discuss these new programs and how the greater Fort Lauderdale area is poised to become a competitive option for film and television series alike. In addition to the incentive program, job training and infrastructure plans are also in development. Check out the episode to learn more.

West Virginia: House Bill 2096

On March 28, 2022, West Virginia Governor, Jim Justice, reinstated a 27% to 31% Transferable Tax Credit on eligible expenditures for Above the Line/Below the Line (resident/non-resident) and local production spend.

The development office is allotted to give up to $10 million annually in tax credits to qualified projects (feature-length films, TV shows, and music videos) with a minimum spend of $50,000. The program does not have an annual cap or project cap, and the credit will apply to tax years beginning on or after July 1, 2022.

There are additional credit uplifts for any feature-length films produced with “West Virginia” in the title or if the subject of the film is “clearly identified as West Virginia.”

To help you navigate questions on these or other states who have recently modified their incentives, our incentives team at EP has a wealth of resources and experts available to point you in the right direction. Connect with us today!

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