xHgGrtG-show-poster2x3-aXpIxNN.png

Artbound

Start watching
Tending Nature poster 2021

Tending Nature

Start watching
IYhnPQZ-show-poster2x3-Ytk6YwX.png

Southland Sessions

Start watching
RYQ2PZQ-show-poster2x3-OGargou.jpg

Earth Focus

Start watching
5LQmQJY-show-poster2x3-MRWBpAK.jpg

Reporter Roundup

Start watching
E5VnHdZ-show-poster2x3-PrXshoo.png

City Rising

Start watching
QraE2nW-show-poster2x3-uY3aHve.jpg

Lost LA

Start watching
Member
Your donation supports our high-quality, inspiring and commercial-free programming.
Support Icon
Learn about the many ways to support KCET.
Support Icon
Contact our Leadership, Advancement, Membership and Special Events teams.

Film Tax Credits: Some States Reconsider

For a politician, showing up at a film set with, say, Morgan Freeman is more likely to get press coverage than going the opening of a chicken processing plant.So, not surprisingly perhaps, the vast majority of states - and many local governments - now offer some sort of incentives to lure film-makers into shooting in their jurisdictions. They range from breaks on hotel room taxes, to generous income tax credits that can run into the tens of millions.
But some are questioning the value of such incentives, pointing to studies that indicate tax credits and other incentives for film companies do little to spur the local economy and may actually be hurting it.

ITEM: Struggling with a major budget deficit, the state of Wisconsin drastically scaled back its film tax credit this fall. The state had offered film companies a 25% tax credit, with no cap. That was replaced with a single, half million dollar grant designed to support a local film industry.
ITEM: Iowa had perhaps the most generous incentive of all the states - a 50% tax credit for qualified productions, which is advertised as "1/2 Price Filmmaking." But facing an almost one billion dollar revenue shortfall, lawmakers put a lid on the program, capping total credits awarded each year to no more than $50 million.
ITEM: Louisiana is another state with an aggressive incentive program, and critics have charged that it is subject to waste and corruption (a claim echoed by skeptics of film incentive programs in other states.) Last year, a producer, Malcolm Petal was sentenced to five years in federal prison after being convicted of bribing the head of the Louisiana film commission. The feds had been investigating the state's film office for years. Among the items of interest - a check for $27 million that the state wrote to repurchase tax credits earned by the producers of the film, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
ITEM: A Missouri think tank, called the Show-Me Institute, concludes that "film productions don't promote lasting job growth or bring in significant tax revenue. Many productions can cost more in state funding than they generate in temporary economic activity." Like other observers, the Show-Me Institute concludes that too many states are vying for film productions, and that newcomers such as Missouri simply should not try to compete with states that have established film workforces and infrastructures.
It's not clear how many states may eventually cut or eliminate their film incentives. But it seems clear that the combination of an economic downturn, and a record that often reveals little or no economic benefit will almost certainly curtail the stampede to offer movie companies incentives to shoot in almost every place imaginable.

Support Provided By
Support Provided By
Read More
Nurse Yvonne Yaory checks on a coronavirus patient who is connected to a ventilator. | Heidi de Marco/California Healthline

No More ICU Beds at the Main Public Hospital in the Nation’s Largest County as COVID Surges

As COVID patients have flooded into LAC+USC in recent weeks, they’ve put an immense strain on its ICU capacity and staff — especially since non-COVID patients, with gunshot wounds, drug overdoses, heart attacks and strokes, also need intensive care.
Vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. | LAist

Your No-Panic Guide to the COVID-19 Vaccine: Is It Safe, and When Can I Get It?

Here's what we know about the COVID-19 vaccines and how they will be distributed in L.A. County.
Nurse Michael Lowman gets the first dose of the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine from nurse practitioner Christie Aiello at Providence St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, CA, on Dec. 16, 2020. | Jeff Gritchen/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty

Orange County Gets First Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine

A Providence St. Joseph Hospital nurse was the first person in Orange County today to be vaccinated for COVID-19, shortly followed by other health care workers.