Written by Tom Deehan on Apr 21, 2016. Posted in Incentive News

Minnesota rebate could be defunded by government spending cuts

Minnesota’s film incentive programme (also known as Snowbate) could have its funding partially removed under a proposal to scale back government spending on the state’s film industry. This proposal also asks that the Minnesota Film and Television Board be shut down, accumulating in an estimated saving of USD1.8 million.

Snowbate can offer a reimbursement of up to 25% for productions that incur a required minimum spend of USD1 million or USD100,000 and 60% of locally sourced filming to qualify.

The proposal itself is part of larger bill submitted by House Republicans to source funding for road and bridge projects. Due to the competitive nature of the US film industry, pulling funding from the incentive is sure to have negative ramifications for Minnesota’s film industry.

Bryant Simpson, a member of the Film Technicians' Union explains: “out of all the [film] incentives in the United States, this is one of the smallest… and it's still a success in Minnesota, even as it is really uncompetitive with the rest of the United States.”

He continues: “we are just now hitting our stride, and things are really going to take off… and now is when it's back up for debate again, and we have to prove ourselves once again."

Since the programme’s fund was increased to USD10 million in 2013, Minnesota has proved a popular location for mid-size feature films such as Dear White People (pictured above) and I Am Not a Serial Killer.

The Snowbate is also noteworthy for being one of the few incentive programmes to extend to commercials, catering to those with budgets as low as USD100,000.


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