Nevada Needs Film Incentives

Okay, this is a little off-topic but the issue is an important one: filming incentives for Nevada.  If you have been following my blog, you will know that economic diversification for Nevada (and, in particular, Las Vegas) is a critical issue for the state.  Over the past several years, other states have rushed to adopt filming incentive packages that provide tax credits, breaks, exemptions, or rebates; wage reimbursements; and production expense rebates that encourage production companies to choose them in deciding where to film.  These incentives have, for the most part, been hugely successful in luring companies to spend millions of dollars in the incentive states, which has a huge direct and indirect effect on those states’ economies. 

In 2005, only 4 states had incentives for film companies.  In 2010, only 6 states – including Nevada – did not have some type of incentive.  New Mexico, for example, has been at the forefront of enticing film production by giving a 25% rebate on all in-state expenditures. They also offer state loans of $2-15 million, in which the state takes a share of the profits, rather than interest.  These incentives are powerful economic tools, having resulted in $1.50 in revenue for the state for every $1.00 spent by the State in incentives.  And, of course, the program has had the effect of significant job creation in the state.  These aggressive programs are wildly successful, having led to a boom in filming for both film (movies like Terminator: Salvation, Cowboys & Aliens, No Country For Old Men, Iron Man 2, and True Grit having been filmed there) and television (Breaking Bad, Crash, In Plain Sight) in the state. 

Nevada’s neighbors, Arizona, California, and Utah all offer incentives in the form of tax credits.  In a competitive economic market, where neighboring states are regularly taking jobs from one another due to the aggressive use of incentives, Nevada cannot afford to continue sitting it out.  A group has formed to urge the creation of incentives here, and has created a website to assist interested citizens in showing their support for the measure.  If you live in Nevada and support economic diversification, please consider the facts presented and, if you are convinced (as I am) that production incentives would be a good thing for our state, please contact your Assembly Member and State Senator.

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