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Missouri Film Commission sees increase in tax credit applications

By Marshall Griffin, KWMU

Jefferson City, MO – Movie and television producers are taking more interest in Missouri, because of the expanded tax credit that takes effect next year.

Missouri's film tax credit was expanded from an annual cap of $1.5 million to $4.5 million, as part of the package of tax breaks passed during the special session in August.

Jerry Jones, Director of the Missouri Film Commission, says so far they've received about a dozen applications and another dozen inquiries.

"Most of them are motion pictures...'major' is always up for question...sometimes we've had stuff come in with big stars and didn't go anywhere, and we've had some smaller films that have done fairly well," Jones said.

To encourage more filmmakers to come to Missouri, the qualifying in-state budget minimum for productions longer than 30 minutes will drop from $300,000 to $100,000, and the minimum budget for programs under 30 minutes will drop to $50,000.

Filmmakers will have to hire people from Missouri in order to qualify for the tax credits.

"Anything they spend in Missouri, it can be payroll for Missouri crew or Missouri cast...it can be renting Missouri equipment, Missouri purchases, Missouri lodging, location fees, cost of food...whatever it is, if it's purchased in Missouri and it's for the production of that film, it can count toward the tax credit," Jones said.

The expanded tax credit takes effect January 1st, 2008.

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