Game changer: Actors tax credit approved for vote

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Chances are strong that the Illinois Assembly will pass Senate Bill 1816 which amends the 30% Illinois film tax credit to include above-the-line acting talent, an act that is sure to boost Illinois into a top tier of entertainment production.

IPA president Jeff Crabtree, who was in Springfield during the recent short Veto Session, reports that SB 1816 was discussed and approved by the House Revenue and Finance Committee and put into the pipeline for a vote.

The bill caps an onscreen actors’ salary at $1 million. The first $100,000, however, is exempt and cannot be claimed as a credit. “This was done to protect local supporting actors, so that out-of-town actors can’t replace them for smaller rolls,” Crabtree says.

SAG AFTRA’s Eric Chaudron is upbeat about other ramifications, in addition to job protection and expansion. “Besides increasing production here, it also will allow us to further our goals of making Chicago a permanent, locally-powered production center.”

Speculation is high that the bill could be passed before the year ends.  The legislature may hold a special session no later than mid-December to vote on various tax incentives and SB 1816 would be included in that vote.

Crabtree is confident of the bill’s passage. If it isn’t voted on during the upcoming special session, it would get a vote during the next regular legislative session, held from January to May.

Local 476’s Mark Hogan, who also was in Springfield for House finance committee hearings, is very enthusiastic about the positive, overall effects of the expanded tax credit.

“The savings we will be able to offer will blow this town wide open,” he says. “It will open the city up to those mid-budget movies that go to other states to shoot and we’ll be looking for empty warehouses for shooting space.”

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