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Arizona and Idaho Look Again to Film Tax Credits

1 min readBy: Kailee Tkacz

Arizona’s film taxA tax is a mandatory payment or charge collected by local, state, and national governments from individuals or businesses to cover the costs of general government services, goods, and activities. credits recently expired in 2010, but Arizona legislators have returned to waste millions of taxpayer funds to subsidize Hollywood yet again. On March 8th SB 1159 was passed in the Arizona Senate which will provide 20% film tax credits to producers whose expenses surpass $250,000—as long as half of the production’s full time employees are state residents. If passed, SB 1159 won’t expire until January 1, 2041.

Similarly, on March 7th, the Idaho House Revenue and Taxation Committee passed HB 194 which aims to extend their soon-to-expire film tax creditA tax credit is a provision that reduces a taxpayer’s final tax bill, dollar-for-dollar. A tax credit differs from deductions and exemptions, which reduce taxable income, rather than the taxpayer’s tax bill directly. rebates until July 1, 2016.

Currently, Idaho provides a roughly 20% rebate to filmmakers who spend more than $200,000 in the state. The AP reports that

Film producer Tom Williamson says Idaho’s film tax incentive, while modest compared to nearby states such as Utah, helped convince three filmmakers to shoot here last year.

Before SB 1159 and HB 194 are enacted, Arizona and Idaho legislators need to critically examine the blatant wastefulness of film tax credits.