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Governor Barbour Signs Legislation to Improve Film Industry Incentives

From: Office of the Governor     Filed 3/14/07  GCN

(Jackson, Mississippi)—Governor Haley Barbour today signed Senate Bill 2997 to provide additional and improved incentives for the film industry.  The bill was unanimously passed by the Mississippi Legislature during its 122nd Session.

“Mississippi has a long history of cooperation and support for the film industry,” Governor Barbour said.  “This legislation will help us remain competitive in the attraction of movie production to our state, while also creating opportunities for Mississippi filmmakers.”

Under the new legislation, rebate incentives offered to filmmakers will increase to approximately 20 to 30%, depending on the production’s local spend.  The bill also creates an additional 10% rebate on out-of-state worker wages.  Although no minimum spend is required, the legislation limits the availability of state funds to $5 million for each individual project.

“In addition to increasing the percentages of the rebate, we have streamlined the process,” said Ward Emling, director of the Mississippi Film Office.  “It’s a very simple and straightforward transaction; and it’s a pure rebate program:  the State of Mississippi returns the rebate directly to the production at the conclusion of their production work in Mississippi.”

Over the last several years, Mississippi has been the location for movies including “Cookie’s Fortune,” “My Dog Skip,” “O Brother, Where Art Thou?,” and “A Time to Kill.”  Recently, motion pictures like “Walk the Line” and “Black Snake Moan” have filmed in the state.

“Over the years, the film industry has been supported by every community in Mississippi.  Across the state, we recognize the role it plays in expanding tourism opportunities, creating economic impact, and raising awareness of our great state,” said Craig Ray, director of the Mississippi Division of Tourism.

For more information about the Mississippi Motion Picture Incentive program, please visit www.visitmississippi.org/film/.

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