When the red carpet rolls out and the movie stars appears, the world becomes transfixed. For many executives and state officials, this means one thing: dollar signs.
As of last year, 31 states, along with Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Washington D.C. offered some form of television or movie production incentives (MPIs).
In the 90s, as the TV and film industry grew, so did worries about “runaway productions”—television shows and movies meant for an American audience but are filmed in other countries in order to cut production costs.
In 1997, Canada began the world’s first production incentives program which led to many U.S. productions moving North. Not to be outdone, Louisiana was the first state to implement MPIs in 2001.
What are MPIs?
Movie production incentives are any sort of bonus offered to filmmakers in order to encourage production in a certain state. MPIs can take many forms: tax credits, cash rebates, grants, sales tax exemption, lodging exemption, or fee-free locations.
The idea is that MPIs boost job creation, small business development, tax revenue, and increase tourism in the state.
However, there are some in opposition to the implementation of MPIs. A study published by the University of California analyzed the states with the five largest MPI programs: New York, Louisiana, Georgia, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. The study claims that for the most part, the incentives have had little effect on employment.
For states like Missouri, it can be difficult seeing productions like the Netflix series “Ozark” which despite being set in the Show Me State, is filmed in Georgia. Though bills have been proposed to bring film production back to Missouri, nothing has been passed.
Do you think Missouri should introduce an MPI program?
By Julienne Graebner │ August 17, 2020