Governor Steve Beshear's Communications Office
Gov. Beshear Ceremonially Signs Film Incentives Bill

Press Release Date:  Thursday, May 07, 2015  
Contact Information:  Kerri Richardson
Terry Sebastian
502-564-2611
 


Legislation expected to attract productions, create jobs, promote tourism

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Steve Beshear today signed House Bill 340, which will make Kentucky more competitive in attracting film and television productions and help create jobs, generate tax revenue and promote tourism.

“House Bill 340 gives Kentucky a strong advantage when competing with other states for outside film projects,” said Gov. Beshear. “Increased film production in Kentucky means a boost to local economies and an opportunity to highlight the Bluegrass state on both big and small screens across the world.”

First Lady Jane Beshear, who testified in support of the bill, recognized its importance for local filmmakers and bringing in new film projects.

“This legislation gives Kentucky-based filmmakers and production companies a leg-up by offering incentives that help curb their film production costs,” said Mrs. Beshear. “These incentives will help create a heightened interest for both local and outside filmmakers to seek out Kentucky as a premier filming destination, and I look forward to the many new exciting projects that will come about as a result of HB340.”

HB340 includes several enhancements for filmmakers:

  • Increases the existing income tax credit from 20 percent to 30 percent for each production’s Kentucky-based spending.
     
  • Productions in “enhanced incentive counties” may qualify for an additional 5 percent incentive. An enhanced incentive county is based on factors such as unemployment, education and road quality.
     
  • Productions may receive a 5 percent incentive for using Kentucky resident labor.
    *The maximum incentive possible is 35 percent.
     
  •  Lowers the spending thresholds that determine if a production qualifies for incentives. 
    • Feature films and television shows lowered from $500,000 to $250,000, with Kentucky-based companies having a threshold of $125,000.
    • Thresholds for commercials lowered from $200,000 to $100,000.
    • Thresholds for documentaries lowered from $50,000 to $20,000, with Kentucky-based companies having a threshold of $10,000.

Mrs. Beshear said Kentucky offers filmmakers a central location, varied geography and a talented crew base. She noted the importance of this legislation because other states have improved their incentives during the last few years, making it difficult for Kentucky to compete.

“With all that Kentucky can provide the film and television industry, from a rich cultural history to a wide variety of settings, I firmly believe this new law is the final step we need to compete with other states in this field,” House Speaker Greg Stumbo said. “The House was proud to partner with Governor and First Lady Beshear in getting this economic measure approved.”

“I was more than happy to sponsor this legislation and to work with Governor and First Lady Beshear on getting it passed,” said Rep. Rick Rand, who sponsored HB340. “This law will give Kentucky a much higher profile when it comes to attracting film and television productions, which in turn will boost both our economy and our national image. Given all that Kentucky has to offer, from its diverse geography to a workforce that is second to none, I am confident these enhanced incentives will be well worth the investment.”

Kentucky has been the setting for several popular films including “Secretariat,” “Elizabethtown” and “Seabiscuit.”

Applications for incentives will continue to be reviewed by the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet and must be approved by the Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority. Filmmakers interested in seeking incentives should contact Mona Juett, deputy commissioner of the Department of Travel and Tourism, at 502-564-4930, ext. 146. Visit www.kentuckyfilmoffice.com for more information.

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