House bill is 1st step to competing with 30+ states
LANSING, MI – State Rep. Robert Wittenberg, D-Huntington Woods, today introduced House Bills 6504 and 6505 as an important investment in Michigan workers and the economy.
The legislation creates a two-tiered tax credit that provides incentives for Michigan-produced commercials as well as film, television and streaming productions. The action comes at a time when over 30 states offer film incentives and, in turn, receive the jobs, economic boost and related upstream, downstream and peripheral benefits from a multi-billion-dollar industry.
“This is about Michigan jobs,” said Rep. Wittenberg. “As we witness the devastation and business losses from the pandemic, we know that attracting an industry that reinvented itself amid the crisis is a smart investment in our state’s economy and its workers. This is a smart first step to rebuilding Michigan.”
Under HBs 6504-6505, preference is given to state-based companies who hire Michigan residents. Other specifics of the legislation include:
- A base tax credit starting at 25% for in-state spending with an additional 5% awarded for the inclusion of a “filmed in Michigan” logo;
- A commitment from production companies to spend at least $50,000 for a single commercial campaign or project under 20 minutes or at least $300,000 for productions over 20 minutes;
- A 30% tax credit for hiring Michigan residents and 20% for nonresidents;
- A requirement that qualified Michigan vendors provide proof of brick-and-mortar presence, have inventory and full-time employees on staff. Pass-through companies and transactions will not qualify; and
- Accountability requirements for independent verification of approved expenditures.
“A cross-disciplinary team of Michigan film professionals have worked tirelessly with Rep. Wittenberg for more than three years to draft this legislation,” said Brian Kelly, co-chair of the Michigan Film Industry Association (MiFIA) Board of Directors. “This comes at a time when our state most needs good-paying jobs and an economic boost. We can no longer remain idle as film workers leave our state to follow an industry that can provide the stimulus Michigan needs.”
At the end of the 2019-20 legislative session on Dec. 31, if the bill is not signed into law, state Sen. Adam Hollier, D-Detroit, announced plans to reintroduce the legislation during the 2021-22 session.
For more information and a video segment on MiFIA’s advocacy efforts to create a film tax credit program in Michigan, visit www.mifia.org.