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Mississippi improves film incentive program

 

Special to The Dispatch

 

JACKSON -- Mississippi has improved its already competitive Motion Picture Incentive Program. SB 2462, which establishes higher caps, additional payroll incentives, and expands the definition of eligible productions, was signed April 12 by Gov. Phil Bryant. It is effective immediately.  

 

"This legislation strengthens Mississippi's position in the multi-billion dollar film industry and will help us compete for new economic opportunities in this sector," Gov. Bryant said. 

 

The new legislation raises the per project rebate limit to $10 million per production and raises the salary cap to include the first $5 million of any individual salary. It also establishes a 5 percent bonus on the salary of an honorably discharged veteran of the United States Armed Forces. Computer and video games were added to the list of eligible production. The annual rebate cap of $20 million remains in place, as does the $50,000 minimum spend required for incentive program qualification. 

 

"The Mississippi film incentive program has been valuable to our state's film recruitment efforts," said Brent Christensen, executive director of the Mississippi Development Authority, of which the Mississippi Film Office is a part. "These enhancements will help us expand our appeal to the entertainment industry and encourage growth and development throughout our state's production service community." 

 

The legislation was originally introduced by Senator John Horhn and Representative Rita Martinson. In floor votes, it passed 120-0 and 116-0 in the House and 50-0 and 50-2 in the Senate. 

 

"We have enjoyed great support from our elected officials and our communities from the very first incentive legislation in 2004," added Mississippi Film Office Director Ward Emling. "They immediately recognized the benefit on so many levels for their communities and for Mississippi as a whole. These changes immediately make us more competitive." 

 

For more information, contact the Mississippi Film Office at 601.359.3297, or wemling@mississippi.org. The Film Office website is filmMississippi.org.

 

 

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