2020 Bills

SB 81: More Cash Rebates and Tax Credits for the Film Industry

This bill passed the senate with a vote of 23-1, and passed the house with a vote of 50-21.

Libertas Institute opposes this bill

Staff review of this legislation finds that it violates our principles and must therefore be opposed.

Filmmakers that produce TV shows and movies in Utah can receive millions of dollars in tax credits every year. Senator Daniel Thatcher would like to increase the opportunity for even further tax credits and cash rebates with his sponsorship of Senate Bill 81. In addition to the cash rebate increase, the bill would also expand the ability of filmmakers to receive these tax breaks for post-production film work—basically sitting in an office editing video on a computer.

The concept of the bill is to encourage and attract filmmakers to do their work in Utah in order to continue economic growth while providing local jobs. That may sound great in theory, but in reality, post production film work typically involves a smaller number of individuals working on computers in an office. This isn’t something that would create hundreds of jobs for Utahn’s—so is it fair policy to give thousands or even millions of dollars in tax breaks to a billion-dollar film industry? Probably not. Local computer-based companies shouldn’t be punished by paying more in taxes than film companies.

This bill is not a new piece of legislation. Past attempts in 2019 and 2018 failed to pass.

From deserts to mountains, Utah is a uniquely beautiful state with vast diversity in the landscape. This alone acts as a great incentive for filmmakers to bring their business to our great state—without unfair tax waivers.

  • Jerome Brad Halgren

    If The production companies don’t come here and if we lose those who are already businesses in the state we get $000,000.00 because they are not spending money here but if they do come and or stay then we get the money, minus a percentage that they get back in tax incentives, if they qualify, thus we get that money which they spent and didn’t get back, money that we wouldn’t have received otherwise if they hadn’t come here at all;. SO WE WIN and THEY WIN. If they go somewhere else we LOSE and they still win in some other state. So get your heads out of the sand and realize the more productions that come here the greater the WIN is for all. The state makes revenue, the Motels/Hotels/Renters/Leasers, etc. make money, the Stores make money, the Gas Stations make money, the Car Rental Agencies make money, the Film Equipment/Costumers/etc. make money, the Restaurants/Fast Food, etc. places make money, etc., etc. etc. So come on and get with the program and we can all in one way or another make money. IT’S A WIN-WIN for the State of Utah!