Governor Jim Justice proposes dismantling the West Virginia film incentive
The Governor of West Virginia, Jim Justice, has called for the local film incentive programme to be dismantled under the new state budget. In addition to scrapping the incentive, USD341,000 will also be deducted from the West Virginia Film Office if the budget is approved by the Legislature.
Speaking to the Charleston Gazzette-Mail, Bill Hogan of Image Associates LLC states: “clearly, this is a revenue-generating programme. For the Governor to cut it makes absolutely no sense, particularly if he is trying to diversify the economy of West Virginia, move us away from coal and dependence on our natural resources and into a nice clean industry.”
The news broke just days after the Martinsburg Berkeley County Convention and Visitors Bureau announced that four new projects would begin filming in Berkley later this year – the future of which now remains uncertain.
Productions currently filming in West Virginia can expect to receive a tax credit of up to 31%. Access to the full incentive requires a USD25,000 minimum spend that includes the hiring of local labour.
The incentive operates on an annual fund of USD5 million and imposes no cap on the amount that can be claimed per-project. As an additional method of attracting productions, most state-owned properties can be filmed on, free of charge.
The list of productions to have previously accessed the tax credit programme includes the historical television series Hatfield & McCoys (pictured), and Craig Zobel’s Z for Zachariah starring Chiwetel Ejiofor.
By removing the incentive programme entirely, it will become increasingly difficult for West Virginia to compete with more financially viable states across the country. Florida’s production activity has plummeted since the state’s incentive was left to sunset in 2016.
Global Filming Incentive - United States of America (see more…)
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