Rauner’s suspended film tax credits a political ploy

raunerA suspension of the Illinois Filmmakers Tax Credit was one of many  items contained in Gov. Bruce Rauner’s announced budget cuts, in an  overt ploy to prod the Democrats to come to terms with his proposed  fiscal 2016 state budget.

The official statement regarding the governor’s budget cuts, released  to the media yesterday included:  The Dept. of Commerce and Economic  Opportunity will immediately defer application approvals for film tax credits.

To set your mind at ease, Illinois Film Office director Christine  Dudley has made it known that all existing approved applications will  continue to be processed, issued and transferred and that the statue  is still in full effect.  

New applications will not be processed, however, until this issue  is resolved.  Dudley encourages filmmakers to continue to file applications,  although their approval will be deferred, reports Mark Androw, AICP/Midwest  chapter president

The application process applies to all film genres that are eligible  to receive a 30% Illinois tax credit on their projects.   TV shows “Empire,” “Chicago PD” and “Chicago Fire” are safely set for the new seasons.   However, funders of two entertainment projects backed out and left Illinois upon hearing the news.

For more and updated information about the tax credit status, contact Dudley directly at christine.dudley@illinois.gov.  

“AICP/Midwest is working with the Illinois Production Alliance (IPA)  to make sure that the interests of the commercial community are protected  and addressed in Springfield,” notes Androw, “as I am sure are the  many other industries that have been affected by this extreme act of  political gamesmanship.”

In reading the full release of the governor’s budget cuts, Androw  says, “The Film Tax Credit suspension is just a small part of a much  larger move by the Governor to address bigger budget issues with the  Madigan-Cullerton budget impasse in Springfield.”

Illinois film tax credits have been a mighty magnet for film production  in the state.   Overall, TV/feature films and spot production in  the state climbed to an estimated $2.1 billion over the past four years,  to deliver a 2.7 “trickle down effect” of $5.7 billion to the local  economy and provide jobs for an estimated 17,000 film workers.

To express your concerns, contact Gov. Rauner and urge him, despite the financial crisis, not to allow the suspension of the tax credit approval continue for an extended  length of time, so that business is not lost and reliability of the credits is sustained.   

 

By Ruth L Ratny                             Jun 03, 2015

 

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