JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri lawmakers have approved a bill to reinstate tax incentives in hopes to bring major film productions to the Show Me State.
The “Show MO Act,” sponsored by State Sen. Denny Hoskins (R-Caldwell County), cleared the Missouri House last Thursday. It officially heads to Gov. Mike Parson’s desk for consideration.
The bill could allow production of films with Missouri-based settings to stay within the state, plus possibly help Missouri be more competitive for larger projects that aren’t necessarily based on the state. Missouri has not offered tax incentives to filmmakers since 2013.
Under Hoskins’ bill, the following would take effect in Missouri, if approved:
- 20 percent tax credit for all qualifying film productions
- An additional 5 percent tax credit if more than 50 percent of the production is filmed in Missouri
- An additional 5 percent tax credit if at least 15 percent of the production is filmed in a rural or blighted area
- An additional 5 percent tax credit if a certain number of Missouri residents are hired onto these productions
- An additional 5 percent tax credit if the production depicts the state or region in a positive light, as deemed by the Missouri Department of Economic Development
Prior to this year, lawmakers had discussed some similar bills, but were met with opposition. Supporters are hopeful such legislation would create more revenue for the state, though some critics argue that payouts would outweigh the revenue that the state receives from film productions.
During discussions last week, House handler Kurtis Gergorry (R-Marshall), said SB94 was thorough.
“Investments have to be made inside the state before the credits are handed out,” said Gregory. “The Department of Economic Development will kind of have the final say in whether or not the credit goes out if it meets the program.”
One of the last major motion picture productions filmed in Missouri was the Oscar-nominated film “Gone Girl,” which was primarily filmed in Cape Girardeau ahead of its 2014 debut.
The bill advances following a missed opportunity over recent years. The popular show “Ozark” ran on Netflix from 2017-2022 and filmed most of its scenes in Georgia, despite the fictional hit being based on the Missouri Ozarks region. Georgia offered tax incentives that made it a more appealing fit for filmmakers.
The bill also aims to bring more music industry dollars to the state by authorizing credits for rehearsal and tour expenses, associated with live tours and rehearsals.
Under the bill, the film tax incentives would expire at the end of 2029 unless the legislature votes to extend them, while the tour and rehearsal credits would expire at the end of 2030 unless extended.