Committee approves offering tax credits for filmmakers coming to Nevada |

Committee approves offering tax credits for filmmakers coming to Nevada

Geoff Dornan

Legislation designed to draw Hollywood filmmakers to Nevada was unanimously approved Thursday by the Senate Finance Committee.

But the Republicans on the panel reserved the right to change their votes when Senate Bill 165 reaches the Senate floor.

The amended version, according to sponsor Sen. Aaron Ford, D-Las Vegas, limits the bill to a four-year pilot project and removes live-entertainment tax as one of the revenue streams the tax credits can be applied to.

It also cuts the total transferrable tax credits that can be issued each year from $35 million to $20 million, he said, and the maximum allowable credits for any person providing labor services on a film from $1 million to $750,000.

There was extensive testimony — including strong support from actor Nicolas Cage — when the bill was introduced. Backers said it was designed to give the film industry the encouragement it needs to bring productions to Nevada. When that happened, they said, numerous other support industries also would come here, providing a major boost to the economy.

Critics pointed out that the film industry really couldn’t us the tax credits being offered, and that those credits would just become a commodity sold on the open market to those who could use them to offset state taxes.

In addition to the changes Ford included, Finance Chairman Debbie Smith, D-Sparks, added an amendment requiring that companies coming to the state for a film production get a state business license.

The measure is expected to receive a vote on the Senate floor today.