Missouri Bill Could Bring Back Film Tax Credits


SPRINGFIELD — The program would give filmmakers an incentive to shoot their projects in Missouri.

One lawmaker wants to make sure that Missouri doesn’t miss out on anymore big-time film productions 

You may have heard of shows like “Ozark”, or the movie “Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri”. Both were based on the Show-Me State, but not shot here. 

We see a lot of productions popping up in Georgia these days — but Representative Kathy Swan (R-Cape Girardeau) is proposing to bring back a tax credit program that expired in the state in 2013 that helped draw in a major production in her area. 

“Gone Girl” starring Ben Affleck, helped bring in a net of $4.7 million dollars into the community when that movie was filmed in Cape Girardeu

Swan says with all the major productions Missouri is missing out on, it’s time to bring that tax credit program back.

“We have quite a varied geography and topography. We’ve been told that nearly every scene you could want to accomodate — other than maybe sandy desert or ocean — can be found in some location in Missouri,” says Swan. 

Swan says the tax credit program proposed by House Bill 923 would help draw productions in. A credit of 10% would be available for out-of-state expenses — including wages paid to non-Missouri residents working on the project. 

As for in-state expenses, there is a 20% tax credit available for those, and almost any expenditure can qualify.

“Furniture, construction materials, office supplies, car rentals, equipment rentals — any product or service purchased within the state. “

There is an additional opportunity for an extra 5% for in-state or out-of-state if more than half the filming is done in Missouri.

“We have a workforce of professionals already within the state. They’re already working in the field,” Swan says.

That includes #Notacouple productions, run by Jonathan Stratman and Andie Bottrell. They have done multiple projects that have played at the Moxie, and they have won awards.

They say a tax credit program would help local professionals like them get more exposure. 

“If we had some better tax incentives to get peope to come here, they would hire more local people because it makes more sense than to bring people in. Those people would be more qualified to work on the next project that gets through, and this whole area would become a more film friendly place,” says Stratman. 

“I think projects would start originating here that could be bigger. It’s clear that there are stories to tell here. They’re already telling them, they just aren’t telling them in Missouri,” Bottrell says. 

If passed, the budget for tax credits would sit at $4.5 million a year. 

Credits would be approved by the Department of Economic Development and the Missouri Film Commission. 

The program would run for six years, and at the end of that time it could be renewed for an additional six years. 

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