Archive for Monday, February 12, 2007

Legislature ready to start rolling on tax credits for filmmakers

State hopes for hollywood ending

February 12, 2007

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— Lights, camera, tax cut.

After seeing movies set in Kansas go elsewhere to film, lawmakers will consider proposals aimed at getting Hollywood's attention.

"The film industry is trying to grow in this state, but we've lost some opportunities on films that were set in Kansas," said state Rep. Lana Gordon, R-Topeka, chairwoman of the House Economic Development and Tourism Committee.

Gordon's committee will conduct a hearing Tuesday on several bills that would provide tax breaks for filming movies in Kansas.

One measure would give a 30 percent state-income-tax credit on film production expenses; another would provide tax credits for investors in Kansas movies; and the last one would provide sales tax rebates on movie project expenses in Kansas.

Between sets while filming "Bunker Hill," director Kevin Willmott, right, talks over a scene with teachers from the Americana Music Academy last August outside Lawrence. Kansas lawmakers this week will consider proposals aimed at providing flimmakers with tax breaks for filming movies in Kansas.

Between sets while filming "Bunker Hill," director Kevin Willmott, right, talks over a scene with teachers from the Americana Music Academy last August outside Lawrence. Kansas lawmakers this week will consider proposals aimed at providing flimmakers with tax breaks for filming movies in Kansas.

A task force on film in Kansas, chaired by filmmaker and Kansas University professor Kevin Willmott, said Kansas had to provide incentives to get the attention of major filmmakers.

"If we make the incentive competitive and the tax credit transferable, we can be in the game," Willmott said.

Willmott said the task force recommends modest incentives and targeting film projects that would logically look to Kansas as a possible location.

"'Capote' and 'Infamous' are two examples of motion pictures that wanted to shoot in Kansas but were lost to Canada because of their incentives," he said recently.

Both "Capote" and "Infamous" were about Truman Capote's research for his book "In Cold Blood," an account of the murder of the Clutter family in Holcomb.

Recently, it was reported that Boulder, Colo., will serve as the location for a movie that is set in Lawrence. Colorado charges no sales tax on film company services.

Willmott has made three feature films in Kansas, including the recently completed shooting of "Bunker Hill" in Nortonville in northern Jefferson County.

Kansas lawmakers will Vote soon on a bill requesting tax breaks for movies to be made in Kansas.

Kansas lawmakers will Vote soon on a bill requesting tax breaks for movies to be made in Kansas.

He said he received outstanding cooperation from the residents of Nortonville, including permission to keep the lights off in the town for long periods of time, which was crucial to the plot.

"That's the kind of cooperation that you get from a small town that Hollywood is looking for," he said.

Willmott said the film probably spent $200,000 in the town.

Gordon and Willmott said development also was needed in another area: training members of a film crew.

The more films that Kansas attracts, the more people will be trained to work on movie sets as technicians, they said. And as more technicians become qualified, the more Hollywood will be interested in coming to Kansas to shoot.

The bills offering tax breaks for Kansas filmmaking are House Bills 2439, 2440, and 2441.

Comments

nut_case 8 years, 4 months ago

How about a tax cut for every-day, hard working Joes? I probably still wouldn't qualify, but it sure seems like 100,000 citizens spending their tax cuts around town would be much better than a few movie companies hiring a couple of set technicians.

Roadkill_Rob 8 years, 4 months ago

nut_case,

It's that kind of ideology that prevents Kansas from attracting business and becoming more progressive. Did you see the quote from Wilmott when he said his crew spent $200,000 in the town of Nortonville?

The actual film crews probably won't generate a lot of jobs but they will help generate a lot of business to a local economy.

budwhysir 8 years, 4 months ago

tax break scene take one, ready... and... TAX BREAK

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