BILLS IN FRONT OF LAW-MAKERS TO REVIVE FILM PRODUCTION INCENTIVES FOLLOWING 1/31 SUNSET OF EXISTING FILM TAX CREDIT PROGRAM
With snowcapped mountains, deep forests and the dreary haze of the rainy coast, Washington state delivers one of the more unique filmmaking locations in the US. Seattle, the state largest city has always been known as a music hub especially as the birthplace of grunge in the early 90s, but lawmakers hope that the state’s film tax credit program can be expanded to fortify the film industry. The current program will sunset on June 30, 2017, however two different bills are currently in progress to ensure the program continues. Washington faces stiff competition on the west coast not only from Hollywood, but also north of the border where Vancouver and British Columbia offer generous credits to filmmakers. The bills in the state congress would extend the credit for 10 years at a $3.5 million credit cap per year.Washington’s film office hopes this credit continues and reports that the program generated roughly $116 million in direct spending since 2007 for return of $10 for each $1 of credit awarded.
The Evergreen state isn’t new to the filming business with movies and TV series like “Singles”, “Twin Peaks” and “10 Things I Hate About You” highlighting the state’s culture and other movies such as the Oscar nominated “Captain Fantastic” and the blockbuster horror movie “The Ring” further contributing to the state’s rich film history. Currently, the program provides a competitive credit returning 30% for movies and TV series, 35% for TV series with over six episodes and 15% for commercials. Vendors used in production must be Washington based giving further direct benefits to the local economy. With a stronger more secure program, industry workers and supporters hope that Washington continues to grow and carve out a healthy niche in the production location landscape