Rep. Swan Seeks to Bring Back Film Tax Credit
State Representative Kathy Swan has reintroduced a bill in the Missouri House that would bring the film tax credit back to Missouri. The credit will benefit large production companies that film in Missouri as well as documentary filmmakers.
Swan said that Cape Girardeau benefited significantly from having 20th Century Fox here for the filming of “Gone Girl.” The film tax credit that they took advantage of is no longer in effect and had sunset as of November 2013.
“So the simple thing to do obviously would be just to introduce a bill in order to extend that sunset,” Swan said.
There was also an opportunity to change the way the film tax credit is structured as well. After meeting with film professionals from St. Louis and Kansas City, Swan said that they decided on some percentage changes they would like to put into the bill.
“One was to make it a flat 20 percent credit across the board for in-state and out-of-state,” said Swan. The rate is set at 35 percent in the statute language currently even though it is not in effect. The 20 percent rate is more inline with what many other states are doing, according to Swan.
There would also be an additional five percent tax credit if more than 50 percent of filming is done within the state of Missouri. And then the requirement that a Missouri logo would appear at the end of the film would also remain. “Gone Girl” used the logo in the movie’s credits.
The film tax credit is capped at $4.5 million for the tax credit portion. “Gone Girl” brought in $7.8 million into Missouri and Cape Girardeau. From the state’s perspective, since 20th Century Fox chose Missouri as a filming location, $7.8 million of outside revenue was brought into the state. That influx benefited Cape Girardeau locally and the state as a whole.|
“They received a 30 percent tax credit when all the dust settled and all the receipts were received,” Swan said.
There were over 170 businesses in Cape Girardeau that provided goods and services to the film crew and benefited from having them here. The crew planned on staying a short period of time but that turned into 5 weeks worth of filming.
While it may be glitzy and glamorous to have a major motion picture filmed in the state, Swan noted that Missouri is also home to a lot of commercial work and documentaries that are filmed here.
“Our bread and butter as far as media production is commercial work and a lot of that is done in St. Louis and Kansas City,” she said.
It is hoped that the film tax credit will attract documentary filmmakers as well as smaller production companies. All of these projects can produce jobs. If the state hopes to attract a large production like the size of “Gone Girl,” Swan believes having the film tax credit in place is essential.
“Right now, we’re out of the market. So, we have the welcome sign out and we just need to repost our old sign,” said Swan.