ST. PAUL, Minn. - A legislative measure under consideration in St. Paul would create a tax credit of up to 25 percent for television and film productions in the North Star state similar to programs in other states. The bi-partisan measure is co-authored by Rochester senator Carla Nelson.
Rochester resident and independent filmmaker Sara Hamilton said there is a backlog of productions waiting to happen that is on hold due to COVID-19. She says the industry is ready to start things back up.
“But the only cities and states that are going to get the big series, movies, and larger productions are the ones that offer a tax credit,” she explains.
She worked on several independent features in Rochester pre-pandemic.
As the TV and film industry begins to ramp up post-pandemic production, a tax credit incentive would encourage production companies to bring bigger productions, jobs, and money to Minnesota.
Such productions could be a shot in the arm for small businesses and grow middle-class jobs across the state.
If the legislative measure passes, it will create a transferable tax credit of up to 25 percent on qualified in-state expenditures for TV and film production.
Hamilton says Minnesota Film and TV is actively involved with major studios and big productions. But many are not coming here because there is no financial incentive to cover production costs.
“Minnesota has the hardest working, experienced people, cast-crew who know what they're doing and are passionate about the industry,” Hamilton says.
She says the tax credit incentive is the key to bringing more film and TV projects to Minnesota.
Hamilton says, “We're ready to shoot and we want to shoot here, but we need an incentive in order to attract the larger productions.”
There are two versions of this bill. One in the house and one in the senate. A conference committee is working to reconcile differences between the two.