An Act To Provide Incentives To Foster Economic Growth and Build Infrastructure in the State by Encouraging Visual Media Production
Emergency preamble. Whereas, acts and resolves of the Legislature do not become effective until 90 days after adjournment unless enacted as emergencies; and
Whereas, this legislation fosters economic growth in the State by providing incentives to film companies; and
Whereas, film production is especially amenable to incentives because it is highly mobile, environmentally safe, capital and labor intensive and effective in promoting tourism; and
Whereas, it is important that these incentives be made available quickly to encourage film production companies to come to Maine as soon as possible, thus benefiting the economy and people of Maine; and
Whereas, in the judgment of the Legislature, these facts create an emergency within the meaning of the Constitution of Maine and require the following legislation as immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety; now, therefore,
Sec. 1. 5 MRSA §13090-L, sub-§1, as amended by PL 2009, c. 470, §1, is further amended to read:
Sec. 2. 5 MRSA §13090-L, sub-§2-A, ¶F, as enacted by PL 2009, c. 470, §1, is amended to read:
Sec. 3. 5 MRSA §13090-L, sub-§§3 and 5, as amended by PL 2009, c. 470, §1, are further amended to read:
To qualify for a visual media production certificate, a visual media production company must demonstrate to the satisfaction of the commissioner that the visual media production company has met, or will meet, the requirements of this subsection. If the department determines that the applicant does not qualify for a visual media production certificate, it must inform the applicant of that determination in writing within 4 weeks of receiving the application. As soon as practicable, the department shall issue a visual media production certificate for a visual media production that qualifies. The department shall include with the certificate information regarding the tax credit report under subsection 4 7 and procedures for claiming reimbursement under Title 36, chapter 919-A and the credit under Title 36, section 5219-Y.
Sec. 4. 5 MRSA §13090-L, sub-§7, as enacted by PL 2009, c. 470, §1, is amended to read:
Sec. 5. 5 MRSA §13090-M, sub-§4, ¶E, as enacted by PL 2011, c. 372, §1, is amended to read:
Sec. 6. 36 MRSA §191, sub-§2, ¶MM, as amended by PL 2009, c. 652, Pt. A, §51, is further amended to read:
Sec. 7. 36 MRSA §5219-Y, as amended by PL 2011, c. 240, §37, is repealed.
Sec. 8. 36 MRSA §6901, sub-§1-A is enacted to read:
Sec. 9. 36 MRSA §6901, sub-§2, as amended by PL 2013, c. 546, §16, is further amended to read:
Sec. 10. 36 MRSA §6901, sub-§3-B is enacted to read:
Sec. 11. 36 MRSA §6902, sub-§1, as amended by PL 2011, c. 240, §46, is repealed and the following enacted in its place:
Sec. 12. 36 MRSA §6902, sub-§1-A is enacted to read:
Sec. 13. 36 MRSA §6902, sub-§2, as amended by PL 2009, c. 470, §7, is further amended to read:
Sec. 14. 36 MRSA §6902, sub-§2-A is enacted to read:
Sec. 15. 36 MRSA §6902, sub-§4 is enacted to read:
Emergency clause. In view of the emergency cited in the preamble, this legislation takes effect when approved.
This bill makes the following changes to the visual media production certification process, reimbursement and credit:
1. It specifies that a visual media production expense must be for preproduction, production and postproduction work performed in Maine;
2. It increases the cap on wages that can be included as a visual media production expense from $50,000 per individual to $250,000 per individual;
3. It requires the applicant for visual media production certification to agree to pay an administrative fee before being reimbursed. The administrative fee is .2% of the reimbursement amount, except that the minimum amount of the fee may not be less than $200 and the maximum amount of the fee may not exceed $5,000;
4. It specifies that the reimbursement for certified production wages is only for wages paid to below-the-line personnel, which includes nonstarring cast members and the technical production and postproduction staff of a visual media production company;
5. It increases the reimbursement rate from 12% to 25% of certified production wages that are paid to Maine residents and from 10% to 15% for certified production wages paid to non-Maine residents;
6. It repeals the certified visual media production tax credit and instead provides for the reimbursement of 25% of nonwage visual media production expenses as long as the company has at least $30,000 in visual media production expenses from the certified production;
7. It specifies that, in order to be eligible for either the certified production wage reimbursement or the nonwage visual media production expense reimbursement, at least 50% of the below-the-line personnel, not including extras, must be Maine residents, unless the company certifies that it cannot meet this requirement due to an insufficient number of qualified Maine residents, and either the visual media production expenses exceed 50% of the total production expenses or at least 50% of the total principle photography days occur in Maine; and
8. It specifies that a person claiming the Pine Tree Development Zone tax credit is not eligible to get the visual media production reimbursement.