Arts+Movies » Freeze Frame

Tax break wake-up call

Incentives drop from 20 percent to 15 percent

by

comment

A possible drop in wage tax incentives from 20 percent to 15 percent was a wake-up call for the filmmakers, suppliers, and other South Carolinians who benefit financially when a movie is made in the state. Georgia has seen a boost in film production since it raised its incentives to 30 percent. Straggling South Carolina has a proviso that keeps its incentives at 
20 percent for state residents’ wages and 30 percent for supplies purchased from local businesses. This month, the state Senate decided to reduce incentives to 15 percent for salaries and supplies. This would have made continued production of Army Wives and a planned spin-off less likely for the Charleston area. Local filmmakers urged their colleagues to contact legislators about the incentives, and the Carolina Film Alliance put together a petition supporting reinstatement of the proviso. At the same time, they lost an ally at the S.C. Film Commission; Boss Jeff Monks was laid off thanks to budget cuts at the Parks, Recreation, and Tourism department that oversees film office staff. The petitioning paid off. According to CFA co-founder Ken French the proviso is being left in place, which will “support productions like Army Wives and (feature film) The Little Red Wagon.” His organization will continue to push for more incentives. For more information, go to the commission's website.

Add a comment