Tax credit bills look to lure film production back to Missouri
"Well, it's not good," Missouri Lt. Governor Mike Kehoe said. I"t's not good for our state."
That's how Kehoe feels about production companies not wanting to film movies or television shows in Missouri - where many of their shows are based.
One of the most popular shows set in the Show Me State right now is Netflix's Ozark.
Some scenes were filmed here one weekend for Season One, but the crews packed up and left for Georgia.
Georgia offers film production companies a 20% tax credit on what companies spend for their production in the state.
Missouri doesn't offer any tax credits. The last tax credit incentive program for film companies ended in 2013.
"Businesses in the Lake [of the Ozarks] area would love to have that being filmed there," Kehoe said. "You're talking about hotel rooms, equipment rental, food, catering, all the things you would think go along with a big production - there's some real economic benefit to it. We want to be competitive and try to land some of those."
Tim Jacobsen, executive director of the Lake of the Ozarks Convention and Visitors Bureau agrees.
He says Media Rights Capital, the group that produces "Ozark" will be coming back this Memorial Day weekend to shoot some aerial footage, as well as footage of the Bagnell Dam Strip.
But, it won't be for long.
"You're talking about a crew of eight to 10 people for three or four days. If we had tax credits, the could be here much longer," Jacobsen said.
Right now there is similar legislation before the Missouri House and Senate that would give filmmakers a 20% credit on qualifying in-state expenses, and a 10% credit on out-of-state expenses.
If the studio films more than half of their production in the state, projects could see a bigger tax credit.
Time is ticking on these bills, as this years legislative session ends next Thursday.