Looks like you are a new visitor to this site. Hello!
Welcome to Hope For Film! Come participate in the discussion, and I encourage you to enter your email address in the sidebar and subscribe. It's free! And easy! If you have any suggestions on how to improve this website or suggestions for topics please don't hesitate to write in to any of the blogs.
(If you keep getting this message, you probably have cookies turned off.)
America is in danger of losing a critical part of it’s culture: Independent Film. All throughout this year I have heard one producer or director after another complain they can no longer afford to stay in the business. I know I too feel this on a regular basis. Yet, here in New York, I have seen the crafts and support elements run at close to full employment. Why? The New York State Tax Credits keep television and other productions going at a steady pace.
There is no question that effective tax policy can also be job stimulus.
Without any policy for funding of the arts in America,it is critical that we incentive potential investors to consider backing the arts. It was great to hear (via Entertainment Partners’ Film Incentive Services) that there is a movement afoot to reinstate Fed 181. They pointed out:
Congressmen Howard Berman and David Drier co-sponsored a bill (HR 5793) to extend the federal film incentive program aimed at keeping film production in the U.S. Internal Revenue Code section 181 expired at the end of last year. The current proposal would extend the election to treat film costs as an immediate deduction rather than a capital expense. To qualify, productions must spend ≥ 75% of the compensation on services performed in the U.S.
The Hollywood Reporter points out the many benefits for the country at large.
“Berman and Drier point out that runaway foreign production has become a national issue. With production of movies and TV programs now occurring throughout the United States, this industry creates well-paying jobs and generates tangible economic benefits to cities and states nationwide. A typical motion picture employs 350-500 people. Production jobs have an average salary that is 73 percent higher than the current nationwide average. A major motion picture shooting on location contributes $225,000 on average every day to the local economy, so it is no surprise that it is seen as a critical engine of economic development in many places across the country.
Thus, the lawmakers argue, extension of the tax not only will help to promote well-paying film industry jobs but will have a ripple effect across broad sectors of the economy by generating revenue and employment opportunities for a wide range of local businesses, such as caterers, dry cleaners, lodging, equipment rental facilities, transportation vendors and many others.”
If you live in the States, and work in the arts, the least you can do is call your representatives and urge them to support the bill, HR 5793.
Why does this matter? Zak Forsman tweeted it nicely: ” if tax payer is in 35% tax bracket and the film’s shot in a state with a 42% credit, investor’s eligible to get 77% of her investment back.”
To go a tad deeper, Zak Forsman posted it well:
Minutes ago, I received this email from my friend and fellow filmmaker, Justin Evans.
Dear Film Professionals -
Section 181 has finally been renewed! The new Tax Bill was signed into law by President Obama earlier today. The tax law includes Section 744, which includes language that replaces IRS Section 181′s expiration date of December 31, 2009 with December 31, 2011.
Here is what this means:
- Any money spent on qualifying domestic film production* in 2010 now qualifies for the Section 181 tax write-off.
- Any money spent on qualifying domestic film production* in 2011 will also qualify for the Section 181 tax write-off.
- There is no gap in Section 181 protection…which means all the fear and worry that someone might have begun a project in 2009, somehow didn’t get the financing in place and investors invested in early 2010 can now breath a sigh of relief.
Read all of what Zak has to say about it here. Thanks Zak!
I received the following letter from Joseph Guerriero of Tax Credits LLC. Film tax credits are job stimuli. As tough times as these are, it is foolish for any state to dis-incentivize films, and all the money they bring, from shooting in their state.
Follow Joseph’s advice, and write to the representatives and urge it’s passage.
Senator Paul A. Sarlo, Chairman of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, has called a special public Committee hearing to discuss the future of New Jersey’s Film and Digital Media Tax Credit Program. The Hearing will take place on Wednesday, June 9th, from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm at NBC/Universal’s “Mercy” Studio,10 Enterprise Avenue North in Secaucus (just off Meadowlands Parkway).
Introduced last November, the Garden State Film and Digital Media Jobs Act,(Senate, No.3002), which was co-sponsored by Senators Paul Sarlo and Thomas Kean Jr, seeks to enhance the current tax credit program for filmmakers…to attract even more films to the state, stimulate local business and create more jobs. Unfortunately, the new administration has proposed suspending the current program altogether for Fiscal Year 2011 (which begins on July 1, 2010).
Perhaps you’ve heard of the plan to deny films (like all the oscar nominated movies this year) that don’t promote “family values” which to some mean gay characters.
Luckily some people are doing something about it. For a start you can sign this petition started by R. Michael McWhorter (thank him by following him on Twitter) :