Bad news for Hollywisco

Eric Koeppel

If the program had continued as originally planned, we may have gotten more out of it than Johnny Depp in a fedora.
If Wisconsin's film Incentive program had continued as originally planned,
we may have gotten more out of it than Johnny Depp in a fedora.

That’s right, this week the Legislative Joint Finance Committee voted to eliminate Wisconsin’s Film Production Services and Investment Credit.  Got that?  Good.  The tax credit was originally put in place to benefit the statewide film, commercial, television, and video game industry. 

Film Wisconsin, a non-profit whose aim was to grow the arts economy in Wisconsin, played a major role in putting these incentives in place in 2006.  Among these incentives was a 25% tax credit on certain wages, salary and production costs as well as 15% on the purchase of personal property and items and the amount spent on purchasing, constructing or remodeling property.  Before the cut the incentive program totaled $500,000.

It seems that these incentives were cut simply due to infrequent use, which may be linked to their high accreditation requirements.  In order for a film, video, or broadcast advertisement to have been accredited it must have exceeded $50,000 in production costs in a 12-month period, and $100,000 for electronic games in a 36-month period.

So, I guess don’t expect there to be a sequel to Public Enemies any time soon, or at least not one filmed in Wisconsin.  But if you want to help out, perhaps a call to the state legislators or the Governor’s office might help keep these incentives going.