Thursday, April 24, 2014         

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Senate panels push ahead with bill for film tax credits

By Star-Advertiser staff


A proposal to expand tax credits for film and television production moved forward at the Legislature.

Two Senate committees yesterday advanced the proposal -- which received written testimony in support from former President Bill Clinton -- to keep discussion alive. The dollar amount of the tax credits and other monetary provisions were deleted.

A House version of the bill is scheduled for a vote in committee today.

Relativity Media LLC and Shangri-La Industries are among two major Hollywood entertainment companies seeking the additional tax breaks in Hawaii.

The original proposal would increase the film production tax credit to 35 percent from 15 percent on Oahu and to 40 percent from 20 percent on the neighbor islands, with 5 percent bonuses for productions involving computer-aided special effects and animation.

The bill would also provide tax credits for new production facilities, rebates to help with a local crew-training program, and exemptions from hotel room taxes for productions longer than 30 days.

Actors Cuba Gooding Jr. and Branscombe Richmond appeared before the Senate panels this week to testify in support of the measure.

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