Written by Tom Deehan on Mar 13, 2017. Posted in Incentive News

Non-resident payroll rebate could be dropped from Mississippi film incentive

The future of Mississippi's 25% tax rebate on non-resident payroll - part of the state's production incentive programme - is uncertain after attempts to extend the rebate past July 2017 were shot down in the Senate.

House Bill 711 would have allowed the non-resident rebate to run until July 2020, but the Senate Finance Committee voted against the notion over concerns that the rebate isn't cost effective for the local economy.

Detailing the vote against the bill, Republican Senator Joey Fillingane states: "it is a money loser at this point and I think the leadership in the state Senate, especially when our budget is as tight as it is right now, is looking for programmes that actually generate dollars."

The Senate's decision was partially influenced by a study conducted by the legislative Joint Committee on Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review (PEER) in December 2015, which revealed that for every dollar spent by the taxpayer, only 49 cents is returned.

Speaking against the decision, Production Manager Jordan Sudduth adds: "that is the primary reason why out-of-state film companies come to Mississippi, is that this allows them to bring some of the crew members to this state to join ours. Without this part of the film incentive bill, productions have nearly a dozen states to choose from."

MIDNIGHT SPECIALWith competitive incentive programmes offered in other states, Mississippi's tax rebate has been a key component in attracting such productions as Midnight Special (pictured).

Even more concerning for the local industry, Governor Phil Bryant's proposed state budget for the 2018 fiscal year could lead to the incentive being axed in its entirety.

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