Seven Ft / Special to the Sun
Tuesday, May 28, 2013 | 3:58 p.m.
Hoping to lure some of the movie industry from Hollywood to Las Vegas, the Nevada Senate has approved a bill to give tax credits to filmmakers who come to Nevada.
The vote on Senate Bill 165, which now goes to the Assembly, was 13-8. Sens. Mark Hutchinson of Las Vegas and Pete Goicoechea of Eureka were the only Republicans to favor the measure.
“Let’s give this a shot” in an attempt to attract filmmakers to Las Vegas, Hutchison said.
Sen. Aaron Ford, D-Las Vegas, said this was a way to create a new industry in Nevada. He said 45 other states have these tax breaks and Nevada can learn from their experience.
Ford, who sponsored the bill, said it provides $20 million in tax credits for those who spend 60 percent of production costs — which must be at least $500,000 — in Nevada.
Sen. Ruben Kihuen, D-Las Vegas, said this is a chance to diversify Nevada’s economy.
Sen. Greg Brower, R-Reno, said this proposal does not seem to be in line with the state’s plan for economic development. He argued it was “not good tax policy” and would take money away from schools, public safety and other programs.
But other senators said the move was in line with the state’s effort to attract more business.
“People are looking for an excuse to come to Nevada,” said Senate Majority Leader Mo Denis, D-Las Vegas. “We are offering a little incentive to get them here.”
The bill establishes a pilot program to be operated by the state Office of Economic Development. The office is prohibited from issuing any credits after January 2018, but those with unused tax credits would take the benefits until the program expires in 2023, unless extended by the Legislature.
The bill also allows cities and counties to waive some of the local fees if filmmakers locate their productions in those areas.