Making Movies in CT: Tax Incentives for Film Industry Paying Off, Study Shows

NBC Universal, Inc.

When you think about big movie productions, do you think of Connecticut? More often, production companies have been selecting this state as the backdrop for feature films, TV and digital media.

A new study from the Connecticut Department of Economic Community Development shows the state's film industry tax incentive programs have been successful, leading to nearly 3,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs in fiscal year 2020. The study also found the incentives boosted Connecticut's economy by nearly $359 million.

NBC Connecticut’s Dan Corcoran discussed the study with George Norfleet, Director of the Connecticut Office of Film TV and Digital Media.

DAN CORCORAN: George, tell us why this study was commissioned and get a bit deeper into what it shows us.

GEORGE NORFLEET: We have been running this program for quite some time and have believed that we had good results behind it, but weren't necessarily completely certain based on the metrics that we had in-house. So, we thought that it was important that we take this step. And what we do believe that it showed was that our targeted incentive programs here in Connecticut are successfully working to help build the film, television and digital media sector here.

There's a true ecosystem that is taking place in production and the infrastructure programs that we believe are working together uniquely and synergistically to manifest significant brick-and-mortar investments here in the state that are both creating and expanding hard industry assets, that are translated literally into the siting of studios and the production of content and the creation of jobs, permanent jobs, that have driven revenue for the state that otherwise would not have occurred.

DAN: When it comes to these incentives from the state for the film industry, how much is the state offering? And does this study tell you if the cost of those incentives is worth it?

GEORGE: For the production tax credit, it is a 30% credit earned against those eligible expenditures that are over the amount of $1 million. And for the infrastructure tax credit program, that is a 20% tax credit for those eligible expenditures that are over $3 million.

DAN: Can you give us a sense of how the pandemic affected these kinds of works here and also, what we can expect when it comes to productions that are in the works now?

GEORGE: As we all know, folks sort of hunkered down at home and it drove up people's desire to view content on, perhaps, new platforms. Netflix really exploded, Disney+ really exploded. We were just fortunate to have to be in a position where we never shut down our production industry here in the state of Connecticut. And we've seen a lot of folks come here to produce their content. Again, we were the benefactors of people wanting to consume more at that point in time. We've seen that continue because people really haven't stopped. So, we want to be in the game and encouraging those folks to come here and spend that money producing their content for people to consume in Connecticut.

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