Aug 2, 2022 - News

Rom-com, renovation show qualify for new Minnesota film tax credit, agency says

Illustration of a film strip with one hundred dollar bills in each frame
Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

At least six film or TV projects have taken part in Minnesota's new Film Production Tax Credit, per the state Department of Employment and Economic Development.

What's happening: Projects deemed eligible for the 25% break on income taxes for the 2022 tax year include HGTV's "Renovation 911," the star-studded film adaptation of Chuck Klosterman’s "Downtown Owl," and the holiday flick "Merry KissCam," which was filmed in Duluth.

How it works: In order to qualify for the tax break, which passed after lobbying from the local film industry in 2021, the productions had to plan to spend more than $1 million in the state.

  • "Downtown Owl," for example, spent $1,419,859 and will be issued a tax credit of $343,147, a DEED spokesperson told Axios.
  • The production has already wrapped local work and submitted its independent audit report accounting for the on-the-ground spending to the state.

State of play: The eligible TV and film projects planned to spend a combined $10.3 million in the state, DEED commissioner Steve Grove said in a press release.

  • That's a big increase from the state's smaller tax rebate program, which generated about $2 million a year pre-pandemic from projects that spent $100,000 or more, Melodie Bahan, executive director of Minnesota Film & TV, told Axios via email.

What to watch: Bahan said she hopes to see the state land more feature films or limited series in the months and years ahead to get closer to the goal of driving $20-25 million in local spending a year by the industry.

  • "Production is just ramping back up, so we're expecting a significant increase in 2023," she said.

Go deeper: Here's the full list of eligible productions.

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