Sunday, March 16, 2008

Filming in Indiana

Indiana now has incentives for film productions. Filmmakers now have a better reason to films in Indiana.

IMIN:Indiana Media Industry Network
The final chapter of IMIN's own legislative version of WAR AND PEACE has been written. The Conference Committee on HEA 1125 has passed the House and Senate. With this follow-up language, IMIN has achieved final passage (in addition to the language previously made law by the override of Governor Mitch Daniels' veto of HEA 1388 from 2007) of meaningful incentives for film production in Indiana.

What we have achieved:

A refundable tax credit (if the refund exceeds your state tax liability, the State writes you a check for the balance) for in-state hiring and in-state production costs for film and television projects that exceed $100,000 in in-state spending, and for new media, broadcast commercials, music video and music production with an in-state spend of $50,000 (expires Dec. 31, 2011).
Automatic approval at 15% for projects spending less than $6 million in-state, and IEDC approval of up to 15% for those projects that spend more than $6 million in-state.
An annual cap of $5 million for all refundable tax credits (required by the Senate as a condition for override of the veto). If the entire $5 million amount is used each year, this will incentivize $33+ million of direct production spending each year, and over the 3 1/2 years of the credit $116 million of new direct production spending in Indiana. Most states use a factor of $2 to $2.50 of indirect for every direct dollar spent, which means that Indiana will see a windfall of $348 to $406 million of new spending as a result of this incentive.
In return for the cap on the refundable tax credit, we obtained the extension of the waiver of the sales tax for production from Dec. 31, 2008 to Dec. 31, 2011. This is an either or situation, you can take the refundable tax credit or the sales tax waiver but not both. This means that everyone in the industry will benefit from the legislation, whether they meet the $50,000 or $100,000 floor or not.
And what sets us apart from some of the other States that have enacted incentives: we offer the refundable tax credit for script acquisition and legal fees (not to mention the automatic nature of the refundable credit if you spend less than $6 million in-state).
While we still trail Iowa and Wisconsin at 25%, Illinois at 20% and soon Michigan, which is moving to 40%, Indiana will finally be on the playing field with real incentives that can help us attract new work, retain existing work we would otherwise lose, and offer graduates an opportunity to stay in Indiana and ply their trade. Our new challenge is to work with the IEDC and the Department of Revenue to facilitate access to these incentives; get the word out to the production community in-state and in LA, New York and everywhere else; make sure that the refundable tax credit is being used up to the cap; and, document the results so that we may defend our hard earned gains and work to raise the percentage and the cap in future legislative sessions.

We want to thank each member of IMIN for all that you have done over the past five years to get us to this day. There are many to thank, but particularly we need to thank Speaker Pat Bauer and Senate President Pro Tem David Long for making the override vote possible, former Rep. Jerry Denbo and current Rep. Peggy Welch for carrying this in the House, and Senators Jeff Drozda and Vi Simpson for being our champions in the Senate. Congratulations, enjoy this great success, then lets get to work to make our victory in the Legislature a reality among the production community.

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