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S. Carolina offers new pic rebate

Tax exemptions also included

Nothing could be finer than to film in South Carolina, thanks to a new 15% rebate on labor and supplies. Gov. Mark Sanford signed the new law, which includes exemptions from state and city sales and accommodations taxes, this week.

Productions spending more than $1 million can triple their rebate from the previous 5% with a 15% return on the total South Carolina payroll for all wages subject to the state’s withholding tax — including those on workers from out-of-state. Employees earning more than $1 million, however, are excluded.

Also, a 15% rebate will be given to $1 million-plus productions on in-state expenditures for related goods and services within 30 days of verification.

As before, films spending more than $250,000 are exempt from state sales, use and accommodations taxes on production-related expenditures.

Taking advantage

“Our state has some real competitive advantages over other states when it comes to locations,” said Gov. Sanford. “We’re going to continue our efforts to better tie those competitive advantages in with our overall economic development strategy as a state, and this bill is a big step forward in communicating those efforts to folks in the film industry.”

Gov. Sanford referred to South Carolina’s geographic diversity, including mountains, beaches and subtropical forests, in addition to its varied settings — from tiny villages and rural fields to bustling urban areas.

Added incentive

“We’re really showing up on the radar screens,” said Jeff Monks, South Carolina Film Commissioner. “Filmmakers have always loved our locations. The incentive program gives additional reasons to consider filming in South Carolina. My staff and I are working with productions, assisting them with everything from proposal development through logistical support — whatever they need to make the filming experience productive and trouble-free.”

If your script is “Sweet Home South Carolina,” investors will receive a 20% tax credit, limited to $100,000 per investor.

Filmmakers industrious enough to create, convert or equip a S.C. film or post-production facility also receive a 20% investor credit, with a $5 million cap per investor per facility.