US states, Canadian provinces lure film crews
Alabama Film Office
Incentives/Rebates: Exemptions on sales, use and lodging taxes for qualified production companies. Income tax credits equal to 25% of qualified production expenditures, excluding payroll and benefits for Alabama residents. A 35% rebate for payroll expenses paid by qualified production companies to Alabama residents when those exceed $500,000 but are less than $10 million. Total amount of tax exemptions and rebates in a calendar year is capped at $5 million for 2009, rising gradually to $10 million by 2011.
Resources: Production companies and facilities, filmmaker services and crew recruitment are available throughout the state but concentrated in Birmingham and Mobile.
Louisiana Office of Entertainment Industry Development
Incentives/Rebates: Qualified productions coming to Louisiana can earn a fully transferable tax credit of 25% on in-state expenditures and an additional 10% on the payroll of Louisiana residents. Productions must spend at least $300,000; no cap. (The Louisiana Legislature is scheduled to consider these incentives in late April.)
Resources: Soundstages, filmmaker services, crew recruitment and post-production facilities are available in New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Shreveport. Lafayette also offers post-production, animation, rendering and sound recording, and is home to 3-D and post house Louisiana Immersive Technologies Enterprise.
Massachusetts Film Office
Incentives/Rebates: Qualified productions are eligible for a tax credit equal to 25% of salaries and production-related expenditures, with no caps. Filmmakers may take credits as either a direct rebate at 90% of the face value or sell them at market rate. Resources: Local film commissions: Boston (cityofboston.gov/arts/film), Falmouth (filmfalmouth.com), New Bedford (filmnewbedford.com), Quincy (quincyfilmbureau.com), Greater Merrimack Valley (merrimackvalley.org)
Michigan Film Office
Incentives/Rebates: Qualified productions are eligible for a refundable 40% tax credit incentive, with a minimum expenditure of $50,000. An additional 2% is available for shooting in one of the 103 designated core communities. All Michigan expenditures qualify. The only cap is $2 million on salaries per person per production. No sunset on this credit. Michigan crew reimbursed at either 40% or 42%, depending on where shoot takes place. Non-Michigan, below-the-line crew reimbursed at 30%.
Resources: Metropolitan Detroit boasts heavy crew base plus multiple filmmaker resources, including office space, soundstages, post.
Montana Film Office
Incentives/Rebates: Qualified productions receive refundable 14% tax credit based on hired Montana labor and talent, applied to the first $50,000 of wages paid per Montana resident. There’s a 9% refundable tax credit based on qualified production expenditures in Montana; no minimum spend or cap.
Resources: Town of Boseman provides the most resources.
New Mexico Film Office
Incentives/Rebates: Qualified productions are eligible for 25% film production tax rebate — a refundable credit on all production expenditures, including New Mexico labor, subject to taxation by the state. A film investment loan program offers up to $15 million per project for those with budgets of at least $2 million. No state sales tax for qualified productions; not to be used in conjunction with the 25% tax rebate. There’s a 50% reimbursement of wages for on-the-job training of New Mexico residents in crew positions.
Resources: Bulk of production resources are in Albuquerque.
NEW YORK STATE/NEW YORK CITY
New York State Governor’s Office for Motion Picture and Television Development
The City of New York Mayor’s Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting
Incentives/Rebates: Refundable 30% tax credit for all qualified expenditures. Refundable tax credits also available for qualified commercials; additional incentives offered to companies increasing volume of work in New York state. Qualified production activities are exempt from New York state, local sales and use taxes. There’s a 5% tax credit available on investments in construction and upgrades to qualified production facilities. Qualified productions shooting in New York City get additional 5% refundable tax credit.
Resources: Major production facilities and crew base; labor aims to become more competitive by offering low-budget agreements and more flexible work rules.
North Carolina Film Office
Incentives/Rebates: Qualified productions get 15% refundable tax credit on everything spent in-state on productions of $250,000 and more, not exceeding a credit per project of $7.5 million. Only 1% sales and use tax on production-related items.
Resources: Production facilities in Charlotte, Asheville and the Piedmont Triad supplement those in Wilmington, where many films and television shows have been shot. City features soundstages and extensive resources.
Quebec Film & Television Council
Montreal Film and TV Commission
Incentives/Rebates: At provincial level: video production-services tax credit of 25% based only on labor expenditures — with no prescribed limit — paid to Quebec residents or companies. A 20% tax credit enhancement may apply to vfx and computer animation, which could then total 45% of eligible labor expenses related to these services. Greenscreen filming may qualify for a bonus 20% credit enhancement on labor used in greenscreen production. At the federal level, productions may qualify for a 16% incentive of eligible labor expenses within Canada.
Resources: Full complement of production stages, backlots and post houses. Production hubs include Montreal, Quebec City and the Laurentians.
San Diego Film Commission
Incentives/Rebates: Qualified productions may be provided a nonpaid, trained PA as part of the film commission’s workforce training program, and are eligible for reimbursement of San Diego Police Dept. fee and public employee costs for city, county, port, fire, lifeguards and nonpolice public safety.
Resources: San Diego can supply crew, soundstages and filmmaker services for small or large productions.
Saskatchewan Film and Video Development Corp.
Incentives/Rebates: Qualified productions may be eligible for a base-tax rebate of 45% of the total wages of all eligible above-the-line and below-the-line Saskatchewan labor. They may additionally be eligible for a 5% tax credit rebate of total production expenditures in the province and another 5% key-position bonus designed to encourage visiting and local productions to hire local crew members in below-the-line positions.
Resources: Canada Saskatchewan Production Studios in Regina offer four stages totaling 30,475 square feet, 42-foot ceilings, production offices and support.
Texas Film Commission
Incentives/Rebates: No state income tax. Productions may receive a payment equal to 5% of their in-state spending. Projects made in “underused” areas of Texas are eligible for payment equal to 6.25% of Texas spending.
Resources: Local commissions: Amarillo (amarillofilm.org), Austin (austintexas.org), Brownsville (filmbrownsville.com), Corpus Christi (corpuschristicvb.com), Dallas (filmdfw.com), El Paso (elpasocvb.com), Houston (filmhouston.texaswebhost.com), Northeast Texas (netexasmovies.com), San Antonio (filmsanantonio.com), South Padre Island (sopadre.com) and the Texas Panhandle (txpanhandlefilm.com).
Contact: Toronto Film and Television Office
In L.A.: (310) 391-1868
Incentives/Rebates: At provincial level: production-services tax credit of 25% based only on labor expenditures, with no prescribed limit, paid to Ontario residents or companies. A 20% tax credit enhancement may apply to vfx and computer animation, which could then total 45% of eligible labor expenses related to these services.Greenscreen filming may qualify for a bonus 20% credit enhancement on labor used in greenscreen production. At the federal level, productions may qualify for a 16% incentive of eligible labor expenses within Canada.
Resources: Toronto can supply all needed facilities, labor and support.
Contact: Vancouver Film Office
British Columbia Film Commission
Incentives/Rebates: At provincial level: production-services tax credit of 25% based on only labor expenditures, with no prescribed limit, paid to B.C. residents or companies. A 15% tax-credit enhancement may apply for vfx and computer animation, which could then total 45% of eligible labor expenses related to these services. At the federal level, productions may qualify for a 16% incentive of eligible labor expenses within Canada.
Resources: Extensive resources, multiple facilities, deep local crew and talent pool.