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State To End Tax Credit For Film Industry

Dozens of film and production industry workers and leaders converged on the Legislative Office Building in Hartford Wednesday to voice their opposition to a bill that would eliminate Connecticut’s film production tax credit.

Among the companies raising red flags about the proposal is sports media giant ESPN, which has its main campus in Bristol and employs about 3,600 people in Connecticut. 

In testimony on the bill, ESPN said "Repealing or changing the credit will not only affect the media industry in the state – but will cause a chilling effect on ESPN future growth in Connecticut and a ripple effect throughout the state economy." 

It added that the bill “will do irreparable harm to the digital media industry and the vendors it supports in the State of Connecticut.”

What’s in the bill:

House Bill 5110, which was introduced by the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee, would amend the state’s general statutes to eliminate the film production tax credit.

The credit, officially called the “Digital Media & Motion Picture Tax Credit,” offers tax credits to production companies that spend at least $100,000 on motion pictures, documentaries, television series, music videos, commercials, miniseries, video games or other forms of media.

Eligible companies must also conduct at least 50% of principal photography days within the state; expend at least 50% of post-production costs within the state; or expend at least $1 million in post-production costs in the state.

Productions that have between $100,000 and $500,000 in expenses qualify for an up to 10% tax credit; $500,000 to $1 million in expenses qualify for a 15% tax credit; and $1 million or more in expenses qualify for a 30% tax credit.

What’s next:

The Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee held a public hearing on March 20th on the proposal. They will likely vote on it in the coming weeks.

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