Filmmakers group worried about tax rebate that ends July 1

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) — Over the years we’ve seen dozens of movies filmed in Mississippi.

But a group of filmmakers is worried that may come to an end.

It’s because a law that would give filmmakers a tax rebate has died in the Senate.

Mitchell Ray is retired but still works as a set paramedic when movies film in and around Canton. He started back in 1995, working on movies like A Time to Kill.
Right now, filmmakers and crew who come in from other states get a 25 percent tax rebate. That could be up to $10 million. However, the deal ends on July 1, when the new fiscal year begins.

House Bill 711 would have extended the tax rebate through 2020, but after passing the House, it died in the Senate.

“We want them to keep coming to Mississippi,” Byron Hughes said, who is an attorney, an actor and affiliated with the Mississippi Production Group. “It creates a lot of jobs, a lot of crew jobs and a lot of businesses benefit from it, from the movies being filmed in Mississippi.”

At their monthly meeting Thursday, HB 711 was the hot topic.

Even though it’s dead — they hope lawmakers bring it or similar legislation back up.

Producer Wes Benton says without the rebate — we may not see as many feature films made in Mississippi.

“I think you will have lower budgeted films that will stay here that can use that crew but the bigger budgeted films that we need to grow the industry won’t come here,” he said.

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