Motion Picture Film Production Bill on way to Governor

-- Measure to lure film production to Virginia will generate revenue--

CENTRAL VA – House Bill 861, patroned by Del. Ben Cline (R-Rockbridge) and co-patroned by Delegate Christopher K. Peace (R-Mechanicsville) passed the House by a vote of 79-17-1 and now is on the way to the Governor’s desk for him to sign into law. 

The legislation provides refundable income tax credits to any motion picture production company with qualifying expenses of at least $250,000 with respect to a film production in the Commonwealth, for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2011; total allowable credits for any biennium cannot exceed $5 million.  The measure is contained in the Governor’s Jobs and Opportunities Agenda which is focused on encouraging job creation, stimulating economic development and creating more opportunities for Virginians. 

The Virginia Production Alliance asserts that when HBO’s Emmy Award winning series John Adams filmed across Virginia, including Hanover County, it left $80,000,000 in Virginia over the 75 days of filming.  The revenue generated in Hanover alone through expenditures at Home Depot, Lowe’s, Sunbelt rentals, local hotels and purchasing of meals had a definite fiscal impact on the County. 

“Filmmaking has a positive effect on tourism.  The vast natural and historic resources across Virginia are attractive to production companies,” stated Peace.  “Localities chosen as filming locations stand to benefit greatly.”

Currently, Virginia's Motion Picture Opportunity Fund is only $200,000, ranking the Commonwealth last among the 42 states that offer incentives.  The Film Office said that since 2006 Virginia has lost 12 major film projects to other states, with a $367 million economic impact.  According to a December 2005 VCU Center for Public Policy Study, “Economic Analysis of Virginia’s Video Production Industry,” film production in Virginia would return $14 for every $1 invested.  The industry employs 4,000 Virginians.

Delegate Christopher K. Peace was elected to his third term representing the 97th District of the Virginia House of Delegates. The District includes parts of Hanover, Caroline, King William, King and Queen, Henrico, Spotsylvania Counties and all of New Kent County.