New Film Incentives for Mississippi | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

New Film Incentives for Mississippi

[verbatim] Jackson, Miss. (May 13, 2008) – Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour has signed HB 1351, creating new incentives for the motion picture and television industry. The rebate program applies to feature, television, documentary and commercial production, and is effective immediately. "The film industry is important to Mississippi, as it is an industry in constant growth," Governor Barbour said. "We consider ours a long term commitment to community and economic development and to the creation of jobs in all sectors in every corner of our state.

The new program creates a 20% rebate on a production's local spend in Mississippi. There is already a sales tax exemption of 7% on most production items and a sales tax exemption of 5½% on most production equipment.

It also creates a 25% rebate on the salaries of Mississippi residents and a 20% rebate on the salary of non-resident cast and crew. The rebate applies to the first $1 million of any individual salary.

There is a $20,000 minimum spend, an $8 million per project cap and a $20 million annual cap. The rebate is issued within 45 days of completion of production in Mississippi.

"The changes this year clarify and streamline our rebate program, said Gray Swoope, Executive Director of the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA). "We worked very closely with the Film Office and with the State Tax Commission to assure that it works smoothly."

Presently, Mississippi is building workforce training programs at both the private and community college levels and enhancing the long-standing film program at the University of Southern Mississippi with a new campus on the Gulf Coast. There is sound stage and support service development in the works in several areas of the state.

"Through this incentive program, combined with the variety of our locations, the support of our communities and the commitment of the Barbour administration and our Legislature, we are looking forward to a long history of filmmaking," adds Ward Emling, Director of MDA's Mississippi Film Office.

Over the last several years, Mississippi locations have been seen in O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU?, BIG BAD LOVE, WALK THE LINE, BLACK SNAKE MOAN, and the Sundance winning, BALLAST.

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