Incentives Watch: States Can’t Resist Luring Movie Industry, Despite Debate Over Benefits

California, North Carolina, and New York have all recently extended or enhanced tax credits aimed at the film industry, despite doubts raised over whether such incentives are worth the cost. The Tax Foundation’s Special Report entitled “Movie Production Incentives in the Last Frontier” states that “there are certainly many reasons to be wary of the value of film incentives in general.”

California recently signed legislation extending its film and television tax credit through July 1, 2017, notes a Bloomberg BNA Weekly State Tax Reportarticle. The credit was previously set to expire in 2015.

Likewise, North Carolina extended the sunset date for its tax credit for qualifying expenses of a film or television production company from Jan. 1, 2014, to Jan. 1, 2015, according to a Bloomberg BNA Weekly State Tax Reportarticle.

New York has even gone so far as to increase its qualified film and television post production credit from 10 percent to 30 percent in the New York metropolitan commuter transportation district, which includes New York City, in recent legislation, according to another article in the Bloomberg BNA Weekly State Tax Report.

Tax incentive programs aimed at film production are offered in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin, according to the Bloomberg BNA State Tax Portfolios.

In other developments . . .

Alaska enacted legislation creating the Alaska Performance Scholarship Award Fund and authorizing certain tax credits for contributions made to the scholarship fund, according to a Bloomberg BNA Weekly State Tax Reportarticle by State Tax Law Editor Tonya Sloans.