Tools for 2009

2009, 2nd Edition of The Essential Guide The Essential Guide to U.S. & International Production Incentives, 2009, 1st Edition, edited by Joseph Chianese, Marco Cordova, and Barbara Rosenfeld. Copies will be available at upcoming events (see Happenings) or pick up a free copy at the nearest EP office. This new 1st Edition features a new section on application requirements and expanded international content.

Monthly Production Incentives Email Updates Archive of previous newsletters is now available. Click here to sign up for our newsletter.

Recent Updates, as of May 12, 2009, have been posted to the website, including the “Basic Overview of U.S. and International Production Incentives” PDF.

What’s New at EP

Preferred vendor lists are now available for EPPS Purchasing, Inc., which provides production equipment and supplies, at competitive rates, in certain states to help maximize your production incentives. Please contact Marco Cordova at 818.955.6278 regarding our EPPS Purchasing, Inc., services.

Want to be a preferred EPPS Purchasing, Inc., vendor? Please contact Mary Ann McBride at 412.956.7325 for more information.

Please contact EP’s production incentives specialists by email or by phone at 818.955.6216 if you have any questions regarding your next production. We can help you budget your next production and find the most beneficial incentives at no charge. We also provide fee-based services for production incentives administration, finance facilitation, corporate-structure planning, and agreed-upon consulting projects. Visit our Services section for more information and contact information for our production incentives specialists.

Updates by Jurisdiction

U.S. Updates
For more information on incentives in each state, visit the U.S. Overview on our website and
click on the state of interest.

The Department of Law has completed its final review of the Film Production Incentive
Program regulations
and filed them with the Lt. Governor’s Office. The regulations will become effective 30 days after the Lieutenant Governor signs the adoption order.

The California Film Commission (CFC) is drafting regulations, guidelines, and forms for the California Film and Television Tax Credit Program to be posted on its website in early June 2009. The CFC will begin accepting applications on July 1, 2009. Applications must be submitted at least 30 days before commencement of principal photography.

Connecticut legislation proposes to repeal sales tax exemptions, including the sales tax exclusion for media payroll service companies’ receipt of payment for production labor costs from production companies. EP has provided information to the legislature to help address this issue.

Governor Charlie Crist will consider a state budget during early June that would allocate $10.8 million to the Florida film rebate program for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2009. If approved, the Florida Film Office could begin accepting film rebate applications for the next fiscal year during mid-June.

SF 480 is awaiting the Governor’s signature that would allow a registration fee for incentive administration, provide discretion for negotiating the incentive rate up to 25% of qualified expenditures, and provide caps for qualifying compensation above- and below-the-line based on local spend. The changes would apply to projects registered on or after July 1, 2009.

Numerous bills have been proposed to include the following changes: create a new 7.5% infrastructure tax credit, extend the 40% infrastructure credit for certain projects approved by December 31, 2009, increase the investor tax rate to 30%, remove the sunset date for the digital interactive media tax credit, extend the sunset date of the motion picture investor tax credit to June 30, 2015, postpone the phased rate reduction from 25% to 20% and 15%, add a requirement for an independent audit, cap the payroll exclusion at amounts in excess of $1,000,000, and add a LA logo. Legislation has also been proposed to prohibit disallowance or recapture of the credit after transfer to a good faith transferee, and to provide that the credits are “earned” when certified. For further details, see HB 213, HB 331, HB 693, HB 735, HB 884, SB 159, and SB 245.

LOUISIANA – Shreveport
The City council unanimously passed a tax rebate for film production equaling the City of Shreveport sales taxes with a basic cap of $150,000 per production and subsequent production cap of $165,000. There is a $10,000 cap increase for productions utilizing a Caddo Parish-based post production facility. The new tax rebate is effective after a budget ordinance has been adopted appropriating the funds for the incentive payments.

Legislation (HP 1005) has been proposed to expand the media production incentive with a tiered refundable tax credit. The minimum spend must exceed $50,000, with a project cap of $3,750,000. Rates from 10% to 20% are tiered based on local spend and incorporation. Bonuses up to 5% are based on local hiring, local filming, and internship program requirements.

The Film Office has $2,000,000 in funds as of April 30, 2009, which will expire unused on June 30, 2009. Those funds can be combined with the next fiscal year funding of $1,000,000.

Legislation (SB 539) has been proposed to amend the credit for film and digital media infrastructure projects to give preference to projects hiring only Michigan residents.

Legislation (HF 1556) has been proposed to continue the film incentive beyond its sunset date of June 30, 2009. SF 1969 would create a 25% non-refundable film production investment credit, capped at $1,000,000 a year. SF 1970 would create a film production investment grant of 25%, capped at $100,000 per project and $1,000,000 per year.

The Governor signed legislation (HB 163) to extend the refundable tax credit through December 31, 2014.

Entertainment Partners provided testimony during a public hearing in Philadelphia to address three pending bills (as reported in the March 2009 Newsletter) that would repeal or suspend Pennsylvania’s film tax credits.

P C377, which was introduced to extend the rebate for at least 10 years, passed the House unanimously and is now in the Senate.

The budget approved by the Senate contains cuts in the film incentives, but they may be replaced before the budget goes to the Governor (see news article).

Governor Perry signed legislation enhancing the Moving Image Industry Incentive Program. The enhancements include tiered incentive rates from 5% to 15% of local spend or 8% to 25% of resident payroll, with bonuses for each when “underutilized areas” are used, a reduction in the minimum spend to $250,000, a reduction in the local filming requirement to 60%, removal of the project caps, and a flat 5% incentive for reality and talk shows.

This incentive has been raised from 20% to 30%.

The Governor signed legislation (SB 610) retroactive to January 1, 2008, to clarify the Film Industry Investment Act, eliminate the rate reduction scheduled for 2010, and prevent recourse against the transferee.

The Joint Finance Committee moved to maintain the tax credit program, despite Governor Doyle’s proposed elimination (see news article). The Committee approved a cap of $3,000,000, with a 35% local filming requirement.

International Updates
For more information on incentives around the world, visit the International Overview on our website and click on the country of interest.

Effective July 1, 2009, the Cayman Islands will offer a 30% rebate on qualifying film, video, commercial, and television productions.

A draft of the “culture test,” which would be used to determine whether a project has “dramatic content” linked to the “culture, heritage or territory of France,” is currently under review.

Special legislation has been passed to increase the incentive from 14% to 20%.

Details concerning the new incentive are available in a downloadable presentation from the Film Commission’s website. For further questions related to the subject, you can email .

Recent Events

EP at AFCI 2009Entertainment Partners participated at the 2009 AFCI Locations Tradeshow in April and raffled several prizes throughout the Tradeshow, including The Paymaster rate guide book and EP Budgeting and EP Scheduling software. Congratulations to the winners: Kent Matsuoka, Burt Bluestein, and Paul Sinor. Thanks to all for visiting EP at AFCI!

Upcoming Appearances

Produced By Conference 2009
Sony Studios, Culver City
June 5 – 7, 2009

The entire producing community will gather in one place for an extraordinary weekend of discovery, learning and creative inspiration. Presented by the Producers Guild of America and hosted by Sony Pictures Studios, the Produced By Conference brings together the entire producing profession — from acclaimed Oscar and Emmy winners, to experienced team members, to the young storytellers who represent the next generation of creative entrepreneurs. Entertainment Partners is a sponsor and Joseph Chianese will participate in the session below:

Made in the USA: Navigating Domestic Tax Incentives
William Holden Theater

Sunday, June 5, 9:00 am – 10:10 am

Tax incentives drive business decisions and often determine whether a project actually gets made. But navigating these waters can be difficult since legislation and regulations are complex and confusing. We will educate producers about what questions to ask within the current economic climate, what caveats you need to be aware of, and how to protect your project in this volatile environment.

Come visit us at Booth #18 to view product demonstrations and pick up your copy of The Essential Guide to U.S. & International Production Incentives 2009, 1st Edition.

Please visit the Happenings section of our website for current updates.

DISCLAIMER: These materials have been prepared by Entertainment Partners for informational purposes only and should not be construed as tax advice or relied on for specific projects. Though every effort has been made to remain current, laws and incentives change and therefore this information may have been revised. Please contact your legal or tax advisors to confirm any laws or the effect of incentives on your project. For updates and more information, please visit our website at

Providing links to other sites shall not be construed as an endorsement by Entertainment Partners of the linked websites or the opinions expressed on such websites.