The bill renews the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program until 2017 and makes the incentive program more competitive on the national scene. The bill currently includes the following:
Expands Program Budget and Duration
Extends the program until 2017
Increases the annual cap amount on tax credits, effectively increasing the Program's annual budget, to $7 million in 2011 and incrementally increases the cap by $1 million every year until it reaches $10 million in 2014. (While our collective goal is to increase the funds available annually, our primary focus is to get the program renewed. WF acknowledges the political and economic realities of the current budget cycle and we continue to work with our legislative supporters in Olympia to determine whether increasing the fund is a viable possibility. While we continue to advocate strongly for additional funds, the size of the fund in the bill may decrease as the legislation evolves).
Expands Program Scope beyond Motion Pictures
Expands the definition of "motion pictures" to incorporate projects shot for digital distribution platforms including video on demand services, direct internet transmissions, and viewing on digital computer-based systems which respond to users' actions or interactive media.
Expands Program Funding Assistance
The amount of funding assistance is changed for episodic series to 35 percent of the Washington state production budget rather that the current 30 percent, given a 6-episode minimum.
The board may approve up to 15 percent on wages and benefits for previously approved non-state labor working in Washington, given that at least 85 percent of the crew are Washington Residents.
A new fund within the program may be established to set aside no more than ten percent of the total program amount (e.g. $350,000 of $3.5 million) to provide funding support for filmmakers who are Washington residents, new forms of production, and emerging technologies.
Given the recently released JLARC recommendations finding that current law does not have adequate reporting requirements for WF projects, the legislation will also have proposed new reporting procedures for incentive recipients which are currently being developed.
WF proposes to add a board member who represents the Washington interactive media or emerging motion picture industry.