MT lawmakers debate increasing film tax credit; advocates say it boosts local businesses

David Erickson

Kevin Costner was pictured this week perusing Scheels, a sporting goods store in Missoula, while lawmakers in Helena debated whether or not to extend and increase a tax credit designed to attract film moguls like him back to the state in the future.

On Friday, the Montana Legislature’s Revenue Interim Committee heard a presentation about the economic impact of Montana’s MEDIA Act tax credits. The law, enacted in 2019, has essentially broken even as far as the revenue it has brought in to the state government. That’s because while the state has doled out about $20.3 million in tax credits to film production companies, the state tax revenue generated by all film production companies and their spending has been about $20.3 million.

The Montana MEDIA Act tax credit was established by the state Legislature in 2019 with a cap of $10 million and later expanded to a total cap of $12 million beginning in tax year 2022. Because it’s an incentive for production companies to film in Montana, eligible companies can get a 20% transferable income tax credit for both production and compensation expenses while in the state. Companies can also get an additional credit for meeting

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