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Legislation would offer tax incentives to movie and TV production crews that film in Indiana

Posted: 9:27 PM, Feb 20, 2017
Updated: 2017-02-23 01:27:38Z

INDIANAPOLIS -- There’s a push to help make Indiana more movie-making friendly and lure filmmakers into the state with tax incentives.  

There are currently 39 states that offer tax incentives to film crews, but Indiana is not one of them.

The incentives give filmmakers an extra boost to their budget, sometimes as much as 40 percent.

Teresa Sabatine, Indianapolis Film Commissioner, was recently hired to spearhead a two-year initiative to recruit TV and film business to the state.

Sabatine is pushing for new legislation that would make Indiana more competitive in attracting film and television productions and help create jobs, generate tax revenue and promote tourism. 

Sabatine and other advocates pushing for the legislation point to the box office hit “The Fault in Our Stars” as one of the biggest recent examples of the state missing out on a big budget film. The movie, written by Indianapolis-based author John Green, is a love story about two Indianapolis teenagers with cancer. Although set in the Hoosier state, the movie was filmed in Pittsburgh because of the tax incentives offered.

Sabatine said she’s working to promote Indiana’s accessibility and affordability, but it’s hard to draw film crews in when they can get so much more for their money elsewhere.

“You think about location costs; how much is it going to cost to get access to places you want to shoot your movie? How much is your crew? Are there unions or not unions? And things like catering,” said Sabatine.

Tax credits could help offset some of those costs for filmmakers.

The chair of the state's House Ways and Means Committee said he does not plan to hold a hearing on the proposed tax credits for media production this session, but Sabatine is working with other lawmakers to see if that language can be added to another bill.