Elegy for Film Bills and Mahalo
Say aloha to the last remaining film bill, HB1590, which is now dead. It joins this year's batch of previously killed film bills, SB541, SB651, SB1304, SB1794, HB607, SB716, HB914, HB950, and HB1131. May they rest in peace until next year...
THANK YOU ALL for taking the time to band together as an industry and community to rally our legislators. Stay educated, stay active, and good luck finding work (we'll all need it)!
In the meantime, get to know Hawaii's current film tax incentives. See the Hawaii film office site or click below to read the statutes:
• Motion Picture and Film Production Income Tax Credit
(4% refundable production tax credit, 7.25% hotel room tax credit)
• High Technology Business Investment Tax Credit
(Commonly referred to as "Act 221" or "Act 215," this 100% investment tax credit was designed with locally-based indies in mind. See Hi-Tech Tax Incentive Section of Hawaii Tax Dept's site for detailed info.)
• Royalties Tax Exemption
(Royalties from patents, copyright, or trade secrets are exempt from income tax)
For the more nostalgic and masochistic among us, I will leave up this blog. It's been a pleasure blogging you!
I'll leave you with Donne Dawson's elegy for HB1590...
From "Letters to the Editor" in Honolulu Advertiser, Sunday, May 1, 2005:
Film-incentive bill would have put Hawai'i on map
Sean Hao's article on Friday did not adequately speak to the benefits of the film-incentive legislation, which was unsuccessful this year despite widespread support.
House Bill 1590 was not a new tax credit but a refinement to existing tax incentives that would have saved the state money and put us on the map as one of the world's most competitive and beautifully diverse film locations. After years of trying to get a competitive film-incentive package passed at the Legislature, this year felt by far to be our best hope ever, with an unprecedented level and breadth of support.
We are grateful to everyone who supported this effort, especially the hard-working people of this industry who rallied together in an attempt to make it happen. For the record, HB1590 would have:
• Provided a competitive alternative to the investment tax credit under Act 221/215, actually reducing the amount the state gives out in film tax credits.
• Created skilled, well-paying jobs for our local pool of film industry workers, as well as workers in related businesses.
• Provided training opportunities for our students and young professionals to hone creative and technical skills.
• Kept our students and young professionals from leaving Hawai'i for quality film and digital media jobs and careers elsewhere.
• Built production infrastructure by stimulating growth and development of our local production-support companies, such as those that specialize in editing, visual effects, animation and production equipment.
• Inspired and empowered the artistic and cultural creativity of Hawai'i's own filmmakers.
• Offered "free" positive promotional exposure for the state.
• Diversified Hawai'i's economy by promoting a clean, non-polluting, highly skilled, highly visible industry.
Above all, this measure would have enabled Hawai'i to truly compete with other jurisdictions that offer attractive production incentives.
This is a sad moment for Hawai'i's film industry. Every time we come to the brink of getting traction toward our common aspiration of a diversified economy with good jobs for our kids, we blink.
Hawai'i state film commissioner