Film tax credits bill seeks to lure movie producers to Arizona - New York News

Film tax credits bill seeks to lure movie producers to Arizona

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PHOENIX -

Take 2!

Just like last year, a bill that would bring back tax incentives for filmmakers got unanimous thumbs up from the Phoenix City Council today. The bill will be heard at the senate commerce committee Wednesday.

In 2006, the Kingdom with Jamie Foxx was filmed in Phoenix.

"It employed 1,400 Arizonans on the project in 9 months. It left over $39 million in the coffers of Arizona," said Harry Tate, former director of Arizona State Film Office.

The film tax credits that were in place expired. But now an Arizona lawmaker has proposed a bill that would bring back incentives.

"What the incentive will do is bring film production and TV production here," said Chris LaMont, founder of the Phoenix Film Festival.

The bill would allow refundable tax credits for film, documentaries, TV shows, commercials, even video games made in Arizona. Projects would require specific authorization.

Production companies would be required to spend at least a quarter of a million dollars in Arizona.

"It's the exact same bill we did last year," said LaMont.

So why would lawmakers go for it this year if they didn't go for it this year?

"Our economic times are always changing. Last year we didn't have as much money as we do this year," explained LaMont.

Some lawmakers have been leery of past tax breaks because of the potential for a loss of money to the state. Others argue the jobs created are temporary.

Arizona is among 11 states with no film tax incentives. City leaders supported similar legislation in the past, but state lawmakers did not approve it.

"If you look at Albuquerque and what they do getting the Avengers, they had more than $200 million spent last year in New Mexico."

"We think the way this legislation has been crafted, written, it will produce a positive return to the taxpayers and state on revenue expended," said Tate.

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