Bill to Reinstate W.Va. Movie Tax Credit Headed to Governor


A bill that would restore the West Virginia movie tax credit is now headed to Governor Jim Justice’s office.

Using the proposed tax credit, filmmakers could recoup up to 27% of expenses for movies and TV shows in West Virginia that cost at least $50,000 to make. The state would have no limit on the amount of film tax incentives it can grant in a year.

The program would be administered by the West Virginia Office of Economic Development. The bureau would have the discretion to reject any project that “negatively portrays the state of West Virginia.”

The economic development office would be required to develop a database of locations, music and other resources available for film projects.

West Virginia previously had a movie tax credit, but it was scrapped in 2018 after a legislative audit report found the credit had only “minimal economic impact.” Republican Del. Dianna Graves, the principal patron, said she spent nine months filling in the gaps in meetings with the legislative auditor and others.

Proponents of the bill say other states in the region benefit from the tax credit and that West Virginia is missing out on projects coming into the state that could bring economic development opportunities to communities.

The bill underwent several changes throughout the legislative process. Previous versions of the bill allowed advertisements to qualify for the tax credit and capped the amount of incentives that could be awarded in a year. These provisions were subsequently deleted.

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