Bills aim to reinstate film incentives in Mississippi
Would more incentives lead to more TV and film productions made here in Mississippi and would the re-instatement of Mississippi’s film incentives help the overall economy?
Senate Bill 2603 and House Bill 1128 would reinstate the film incentives that expired in 2017, meaning a 25 percent return on money spent in the state, including on cast and crew. Cast Director Cher Foley said, “Rebates attract filmmakers to come to the state. They will sometimes bring a small group of their crew that they are used to working that they know can get the job done.”
This allows filmmakers to also hire locals to help produce movies such as “Mississippi River Sharks,” a film produced in Ocean Springs. Popular film actor Marco St. John tells News 25 people in the industry love the rebate system in Mississippi. “When the producer finishes his film, he presents the state of Mississippi with a bill and they write him a check for the amount they had given him off on that rebate.”
There are those who say the incentives could cost the state money in the long run. However, Foley says the revenue brought in from crews staying at the hotels and eating at different restaurants says otherwise. “They rent homes. They buy homes. They are spending money in the state which in turn creates more tax revenue.”
Some locals in the film industry struggle to find work in the state. If the legislators decide to extend the film incentives, this will allow even more revenue to remain in Mississippi. Armorer Janette Luttrell said, “Ninety-nine percent of my time has been spent outside of the state of Mississippi. It would be wonderful to work on projects in my own state.”
“Mississippi’s got the goods down here. The people love filming here. We obviously love working here. You all love seeing the movies that are filmed here.”
“This is a multi-billion dollar business and we want a piece of that pie.”