Missouri wants to attract Hollywood back to the Show Me State. The Missouri Legislature has passed tax credits for the film and music industries.

The bill would provide a tax credit equal to 20% of qualifying film production expenses. An additional 5% may be awarded for each of the following conditions if they are met:

1. At least 50% of the qualified film production project is filmed in Missouri;

2. At least 15% of the project takes place in a rural or blighted area;

3. At least three departments of the production hire a Missouri resident ready to advance to the next level in a specialized craft position or learn a new skillset;

4. The Department of Economic Development determines that the script for such project positively markets a city or region of the state, the entire state, or a tourist attraction located in the state, and the production provides certain advertising materials.

The total dollar amount of tax credits awarded to a qualified film production project may be increased by 10% if the project is located in a county of the second, third, or fourth class.

The legislation would also make way for a tax credit for live entertainment rehearsal and tour expenses equal to 30% of the cost.

State Rep. Kurtis Gregory, R-Marshall, carried the bill in the House.

“It’s going to be another tool in the tool belt for the economic development office,” says Gregory. “There’s been a lot of work put in over many years to try and bring this back to the State of Missouri. Since we’re on a lot of fun lines here, I’m just ready for the day when we can say Lights, Camera, Action.”

Missouri’s film tax credit program expired in 2013.

State Rep. Peter Merideth talked to Gregory about a well-known Missouri-based company.

“Are you a big Hallmark fan,” asked Merideth.

“You know, during Christmas time, I watch my fair share of Hallmark movies,” said Gregory.

“That doesn’t surprise me about you. Not at all,” said Merideth.

“I see many great locations in the state of Missouri,” said Gregory.

“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t watch my fair share as well with my family,” said Merideth.

“You get suckered in every now and then,” said Gregory.

Not everyone was on board with the legislation. Jeremy Cady, with Americans for Prosperity, questioned if those tax credits could be better spent elsewhere in Missouri, like on infrastructure. He also told lawmakers he does not want the government to incentivize one industry over another.

The bill heads to Gov. Mike Parson for a decision.

If approved, the tax credits would begin later this year and expire in 2030, unless the Legislature extends them.

To view Senate Bill 94, click here.

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