Tax incentives for concerts and filming approved by Missouri Senate
A bill that would incentivize TV series, movies and live entertainment tours to come to Missouri won 20-12 approval Monday by the Senate.
The bill, sponsored by Sen. Denny Hoskins, R-Warrensburg, would offer tax credits to qualified motion media production projects filming in Missouri as part of the “Show MO Act.” The bill caps the tax credits at $16 million per year.
Up to 20% of expenses would be credited for projects filmed at least 50% in Missouri with at least 15% in a rural/”blighted” area of the state, hire Missouri residents in at least three departments of the production and is determined as marketing Missouri in a positive light.
The other half of the bill, the “Entertainment Industry Jobs Act,” allows qualifying taxpayers to claim a tax credit for rehearsal and tour expenses in Missouri. The act has a maximum credit amount of $8-10 million annually.
Taxpayers could be credited for 30% of expenses, up to $3 million depending on the amount of expenses in Missouri.
At a public hearing on the bill on Jan. 30, witnesses in support of this legislation referenced the opportunities that have passed by Missouri. Steph Shannon, director of the Kansas City Film Office and KC Film Commissioner, said Missouri has lost $800 million since 2017 because of the lack of incentives for filming and producing in Missouri.
Shannon referenced shows such as Netflix’s “Ozark” and NBC’s “Superstore” which are set in Missouri but were not actually filmed in the state. Other missed opportunities were “KC King” and “Yellowstone” which were initially based in Missouri but were altered to be set elsewhere because of the cost of filming in Missouri, according to Shannon.
Supporters of the bill included the Missouri Chamber of Commerce, Missouri Film Association, Missouri Citizens for the Arts, Hallmark and various production and arts groups.
“We are simply looking for a level playing field,” said Trey Kerr, CEO of Gateway Studios and Production. Kerr said that performers make their money off of touring and selling merchandise now, so the industry has become tour-based which means more opportunities for performances in Missouri.
Lobbyist for Gateway Studios, John Bardgett, called this legislation “no risk” since the state doesn’t offer tax credits unless Missouri services are used and paid for.
The bill passed through the Fiscal Oversight Committee earlier Monday.
Sen. Angela Mosley, D-Florissant, referenced the incentives already in place in states such as Georgia which have drawn film and television production to the state because of the cheaper costs of production.
The bill, SB 94, goes to the House for its consideration.
This story originally appeared in the Columbia Missourian. It can be republished in print or online.