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Missouri lawmakers push to reinstate film tax incentives

Posted at 8:50 PM, Mar 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-29 23:33:14-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Some lawmakers believe Missouri is missing out on millions of dollars after its tax incentives for film production was allowed to lapse in 2013.

With so many ways to watch video content — Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, or more traditional outlets like television and movie theatre — lawmakers are pushing to bring back those incentives in hopes of luring production companies back to the Show-Me State.

“There is interest, there are things in development, there are things in the pipeline, and I am talking about film work as well as television series work,” Director of the KC Film Office Stephanie Scupham said.

Ozark, a popular Netflix series, was set in Missouri but most of it was shot in Georgia.

“Having a very small incentive here locally has kept the door from closing on us,” Scupham said.

But a statewide incentive, which expired in 2013 and hasn't been reupped in six years since, might help boost Kansas City's profile even more for television and movies.

“Once we have a state incentive, Kansas City will be the only city that (also) has a local incentive," Scupham said.

Earlier this month, a new season of Netflix's "Queer Eye" debuted, It was shot in Kansas City and brought an estimated $2 million dollars to the area economy, including the hiring of 41 local workers.

Wesley Elder shot the movie “The Matchbreaker” in Kansas City a few years ago.

“It released at the end of 2016, went on Netflix and was on Netflix for 18 months and is on Amazon Prime now,” Elder said. “We shot in 45 locations. Parks and rec, Stephanie with the film commission — everyone was extremely helpful getting it made."

While his film was small budget, Kansas City is eager to have more movies and shows set in town.

“We will stop losing work to surrounding states, we will stop losing work to state that have a like level incentive as we do,” Scupham said.

The bill to bring more incentives passed a Missouri House of Represetnatives committee. The Missouri Senate bill, which is being debated in committee, is sponsored by Sen. Denny Hoskins.