Moscow plan to spur local TV projects

Tax benefit is unprecedented move in Russia

MOSCOW — Moscow’s city government has passed legislation to encourage private funding for local TV production in a 478 million ruble ($16.7 million) program that could see 40 projects completed this year.

Move will allow local companies to write off or deduct municipal tax debt in return for supporting local product. Resulting programming will be destined for territory’s Center TV channel, which is majority owned by Moscow city authorities.

It’s not the first time Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov has supported local fare. Three years ago, he majority-financed five feature films at city’s top studio, Mosfilm, in what was seen as an unsuccessful attempt to take over the facility.

The decision is unprecedented in Russia, where lawmakers have been unable to implement plans by which film or TV investors would benefit from preferential tax treatment on a national scale.

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