Bill advances to amend motion picture tax credit program

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Legislation is advancing in Rhode Island's General Assembly to draw more movie and television productions to the state.

The House of Representatives passed a motion picture tax credit bill Thursday night, sending it to the state Senate.

The bill was sponsored by House Finance Committee Chairman Marvin Abney, a Newport Democrat, to amend the current program by allowing productions to use tax credits even if the majority of filming isn't done within the state, as long as at least $10 million is spent in Rhode Island within a year.

Currently, a production must shoot the majority of its project within Rhode Island to qualify for the program. Abney said this stipulation has caused larger productions to bypass the state.

Most of the program will remain the same under the new bill, he said, with a tax credit of 30% of the state-certified production costs, capped at $20 million per tax year.

“If you want to see James Bond running through the Newport mansions or perhaps your favorite Marvel superhero on the streets of Providence, you should support this much-needed bill,” Abney said in a statement.