Lawmakers Pushing Tax Incentives for Movie Makers

By: Chris Herzog
By: Chris Herzog

When film companies shoot major motion pictures on location, it can mean money and temporary jobs for the people in that town.
However, some in Wisconsin say the lack of any state supported tax breaks for those companies, is leaving any chance for filming in the Badger State, on the cutting room floor.
But a new bill in the legislature could change that.
When you see the big Hollywood blockbusters on the big screen, you're probably not thinking about where they were shot.
But those on location shoots, can mean a lot of money for the people involved.
Bill Olson, a local filmmaker says, "They have fifty other states to go to if they want to stay in the U.S. There are other climates simliar to ours, other geographies similar to Wisconsin. And they haven't been coming here because they don't have the incentives."
Bill Olson is just one of many supporters of Senate Bill 563.
If approved by the legislature, it would create tax breaks for companies that travel to Wisconsin to make movies, videos and commercials.
"We have home grown talent here that is leaving the state because we don't have the incentives to be competitive.", Linda Adler says.
Adler is with with the Chippewa Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau.
She says those on location shoots can mean money for businesses in town, and temporary jobs for everyday people.
But not everyone is excited about giving tax breaks to film companies.
Paul Fuchs says, "Across the board there's this whole system of giving tax breaks to companies and I don't think that's particularly needed in this case."
Local filmmaker Paul Fuchs says the beauty of Wisconsin, and the available work force should be reward enough for movie studios. But others say without tax incentives, Hollywood will continue to pass Wisconsin by, headed for greener pastures."
"Just the exposure, the identity, the audiences that your destination could be exposed to from a film is significant. Hard to measure really, the full impact.", Adler said.


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