Tourism Commissioner Chelsea Ruby said West Virginia’s film tax credit can’t compete with the hundreds of millions of dollars other states are pouring into similar incentives, and that it’s been a race to see which state can offer more.
She spoke in support of a measure, SB 263, that will abolish the tax credit and eliminate the West Virginia Film Office. Members of the Senate Finance Committee approved the bill Tuesday afternoon by a voice vote, with no nays heard.
“What we’ve seen in the last decade of these programs is a classic race to the bottom,” Ruby said. “There are certain productions that require specific locations, but a majority of productions can be done anywhere, and those productions always chance the largest credit.
The film office of Georgia, currently one of the most popular destinations to film now, has issued more than $500 million in credits over the past year, Ruby said. Compare that to West Virginia’s $5 million cap, and there’s stiff competition for films. Because of the increased competition, Ruby said, eight states have recently eliminated their film tax credits.
See more at WVnews.