GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — State legislators are considering a proposal to create a new film tax credit after the previous program ended.
The statewide incentive was eliminated in 2015 and never replaced. The program gave productions tax credits for filming in the state. This included credits for purchasing supplies through local stores and hiring local workers.
Alexander Page, the legislative chair with the Michigan Film Industry Association, said productions have been passing Michigan over and filming in states like Georgia.
The group has proposed legislation that would give a base tax credit starting at 25% for in-state spending, with an additional 5% to include the Filmed in Michigan logo. It would also provide a 30% credit for hiring Michigan residents and 20% for nonresidents.
“We took this and built it from the ground up. We talked to other states, what worked, what didn’t,” Page said. “We’ve got over 40 states and municipalities who are doing programs and we have over 90 countries that are doing incentives and so in order to participate you have to be able to have a competitive program that helps support Michigan jobs and Michigan companies.”
Companies would have to prove they have a physical presence in the state with full-time workers.
David Haddad, the chair of the Michigan Film Industry Association, said the industry keeps growing.
“Now we have seven new streaming companies making content so we have all this demand and they will only go where there’s film credit programs,” Haddad said.
The association says Michigan has a great variety of locations to use in productions.
“You have beach, you have sand, you have wooded area. You have the U.P.,” Haddad said.
Lindsey Katerberg, who is also a vice president of a West Michigan stagehands union, said the incentive would help build a lasting industry in the area.
“Streaming services have exploded, you can’t get enough content for everybody. They always want more and we can continue to be a part of that process,” Katerberg said.
If approved, the proposed incentive would last 10 years and would have caps for different types of productions like movies and commercials.