RICHMOND — State Delegate Terry Kilgore, R-Gate City, has introduced legislation during the current session of the Virginia General Assembly he hopes will spur the growth of the film industry in Virginia.
Kilgore’s H.B. 460 changes the motion picture production income tax credit by increasing the percentage of qualifying expenses eligible to be claimed by film producers from 15 percent to 20 percent, and for film productions in economically distressed areas the percentage would go up to 25 percent from the current 20 percent.
Kilgore said the bill would also increase the total biennium cap for credits from $5 million to $25 million through 2023.
Kilgore said the state’s tax credit programs have been successful. Although Virginia has had film incentive legislation since 1997, it wasn’t until 2010 that sufficient funds were available to make a significant impact.
The 11 film and television projects that received funding since 2010 have resulted in an increase in Virginia jobs and economic impact by the film and television industry, he said.
Before tax credit legislation was enacted, Kilgore said jobs in Virginia’s film industry declined 9.5 percent. After tax credits took effect, the decline was reversed and film industry employment grew by 15.7 percent.
Additionally, Kilgore said the economic impact of the industry as a whole increased 14.7 percent during the same period.
“In the past two years there have been 11 Virginia projects funded by film incentives and we have to keep the positive momentum going. Tax incentives for the film industry benefits our state in many ways, from creating jobs to increasing tourism by promoting our beautiful state,” Kilgore said.
“Films like Steven Spielberg’s ‘Lincoln,’ ‘Captain Phillips’ starring Tom Hanks, and documentary dramas ‘Killing Lincoln’ and ‘Killing Kennedy,’ all filmed right here in the commonwealth. And, of course, a film recently shot right in the heart of Southwest Virginia, ‘Big Stone Gap,’ written and directed by Southwest Virginia’s own Adriana Trigiani.”
A native of Big Stone Gap, Trigiani filmed the movie based on her novel of the same name last fall in her hometown. The film is still in production mode and is expected to be released this year.
Kilgore said he hopes his legislation “will help the film industry to continue to grow and that many more new projects will choose Virginia.”
Kilgore’s District 1 includes all of Lee and Scott counties, most of Wise County and the city of Norton.