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Missouri aiming to attract concerts, films with tax credits

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(The Center Square) – Republican Missouri Gov. Mike Parson acknowledged some people aren’t in favor of tax credits before ceremonially signing a 21-page bill at a multimillion-dollar music rehearsal facility under construction.

“I can’t act,” Parson said on Tuesday. “I can’t play music and I can’t sing. So, I’m going to support the people who can.”

Senate Bill 94 creates entertainment industry tax credits for films and major music artists. The “Sho MO Act” authorizes tax credits for specific expenses related to the production of qualified “motion media production projects” in the state. A similar tax credit expired in 2013.

“Unfortunately, since 2012 we’ve had no major motion pictures filmed here in the state,” said Sen. Denny Hoskins, R-Warrensburg. “They’ve gone to other competing states and all the surrounding states. This is going to help bring those motion pictures and social media videos and commercials back here to the state.”

Businesses can receive a tax credit equal to 20% of qualifying expenses defined in the bill. An additional 5% can be earned if 50% of the production project is recorded in Missouri, 15% takes place in a rural or blighted area and other requirements.

The “Entertainment Industry Jobs Act” in the bill includes a tax credit for rehearsal and tour expenses for live tours and rehearsals taking place in the state, along with other requirements. The tax credit is equal to 30% of expenses if all requirements are met, including the purchase or rental of concert tour equipment of at least $1 million from a Missouri vendor. Plus, at least two concerts must be held in the state.

“Currently, there are only a couple places in the United States where they can do this,” Hoskins said. “If Taylor Swift, Kenny Chesney or someone wants to come in and practice before they go out on the road, they’ve got a place to do that and an incentive.”

Parson emphasized the reported $164 million in economic impact from the NFL Draft in Kansas City earlier this year.

“These are the kind of investments you’re looking for to have these events,” Parson said. “They’ll only come here because you’re doing successful things in the state to do business. It’s all about the people supporting the industries and I think we have a great opportunity to support this.”

Parson also said the 2029 sunset for motion picture tax credits and the 2030 sunset for the entertainment tax credits helps taxpayers review effectiveness of the programs.

“There’s always opposition to tax credits, no matter what they are and where they are,” Parson said. “You have to educate people on the benefit. How do the taxpayers gain? I’m not sure if everybody is in love with this piece of legislation… and if it’s not working you can pull the plug.”

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