As a follow-up to my blog post, "Nevada Needs Film Incentives," the most recent issue of Vegas Inc. magazine (formerly In Business Las Vegas) has a story on film production incentives and (in my view) why we need them here. The story also discusses one benefit to filming incentives that I neglected to mention in my earlier blog post: films set in Las Vegas drive tourism. By some measures, the massive hit "The Hangover" resulted in a seven percent increase in gaming revenue. Movies like "Oceans Eleven" and its sequels have also resulted in similar increases. The fact is that these movies help sell our city better than almost any other form of advertising (with the possible exception of the "What Happens Here, Stays Here" campaign. Other states — like film-production meccas New Mexico and Michigan – can't say the same thing (how many people decided to take a trip to New Mexico after seeing "Terminator: Salvation"?)
The good news is that the legislature is on it. Assemblywoman Marilyn Kirkpatrick has introduced the Motion Picture Jobs Creation Act (Assembly Bill 506), which, if it passes, would create incentives that would (hopefully) lure production to our state. The Act, if passed, would give a twenty-five percent tax credit to productions that spend at least sixty percent of their shooting days in Nevada and spend at least $250,000 worth of qualifying in-state expenditures ($100,000 for smaller projects). This would do wonders for our economy and job creation (consider former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson's claim that his state's film production incentives created 10,000 jobs).
If you live in Las Vegas, please consider contacting your state representatives and telling them that you support film production incentives. This website can help walk you through the facts and give you information for contacting your legislators.