N.J. offers prod’n tax lures

Exemptions for expenses of commercial production

Hoping to capitalize on its image as New York’s “sixth borough,” New Jersey has enacted a bill that expands sales-tax exemptions for goods and services involved in the commercial production of motion pictures and videos.

The logic is that the benefits of local filmmaking extend beyond the location dollars (which enhance the state’s economy by more than $50 million annually). Legislators see the worldwide exposure of New Jersey on theater and TV screens as an enhancement to the state’s image, which may help increase tourism and attract business and industry to the state.

The bill broadens the existing exemptions for film and video production equipment in two ways: (1) It expands the definition of exempt production equipment for movies to include motor vehicles, materials, supplies and replacement parts; and (2) it exempts charges for the services of installing, maintaining, servicing or repairing the production equipment.

Some film and video production costs are already exempt from sales taxes.

First, under the sales and use tax, making a movie or video is the making of an item of property that can eventually be sold or rented. Items “purchased for resale” are exempt from taxation, which means that if a movie producer buys film to shoot a movie that in turn is to be sold to a distributor, the film stock is “purchased for resale” and the producer’s purchase is exempt from tax.

Second, “machinery, apparatus and equipment used directly and primarily in the production of tangible personal property” is exempt from the sales and use tax. A movie camera is a piece of equipment used to produce property, the movie. Therefore, a producer’s purchase or rental of a camera is exempt.

Third, charges for services on property that will be resold are exempt, so film editing services are exempt.

LAS VEGAS has never suffered for attention, but Baskow Talent & Location Services feels you can always improve on a good thing: The service has announced formation of a division, the Las Vegas Film & TV Office.

Bob Hirsch, who has headed the State of Nevada Motion Picture Office since its inception 16 years ago, will be the director of the new division.

The full-service operation will focus on locations, casino filming, hotel accommodation packages and government permits.

THE ORANGE COUNTY Film Commission announced the promotion of Debi Hausdorfer to managing director. Haus-dorfer had been serving as the commission’s director of marketing since its establishment in ’94. She was also recently elected to the 13-member board of directors of the Association of Film Commissioners Intl. and is a member of the California Film Commission’s FLICS (Film Liaisons in California Statewide) marketing committee.