Tennessee film incentives get boost

On May 9, 2012, in News 2012, by Mark Norris

Nashville Business Journal, by Annie Johnson
May 9, 2012

In an effort to streamline incentives for Tennessee film production, the Department of Revenue will no longer issue tax credits for movies made in the Volunteer State. Instead, an additional $2 million will be added to Tennessee’s film incentive program, which is administered by the Tennessee Film Entertainment and Music Commission.
Sen. Majority Leader Mark Norris (R-Collierville) said the move makes TFEMC the “one-stop shop” for film incentives in the state and ends a complex system of providing incentives through TFEMC grants and refundable tax credits, according to a news release.
“We recognize the importance of the film industry not only to the economy of the state but to the welfare of countless Tennesseans whose livelihoods depend on it,” he said. “This new program simplifies, streamlines and strengthens our commitment to the film industry.”
Under the changes, projects with budgets of more than $200,000 will be eligible to receive grants equal to 25 percent of their qualified Tennessee expenditures. Previously, the combined grant and tax credit system awarded a 17 percent grant and 15 percent refundable tax credit only to productions with budgets over $1 million, according to the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.
The news dovetails with a recent Ernst & Young report that found film incentives result in increased employment and higher incomes.
“However, the economic benefits to residents extend beyond the production activities themselves and include increased activity by suppliers to the film industry and increased consumer spending from higher incomes,” said Robert Cline, Ernst & Young LLP’s   director of state and local tax policy.

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