What’s in it for Paramount? The incentives and expenses for filming in Chicago
Tax credits for motion picture filming is not as controversial as some may think, with 44 out of the 50 states and Puerto Rico offering a range of tax breaks. Michigan has likely drawn the most criticism by offering production companies credits worth up to 50 percent of personnel expenditures – without a stipulation about Michigan hires only – and up to 42 percent of production spending while a $1.6 billion budget shortfall looms.
In Illinois, there is a film tax credit for 30 percent of Illinois-based production and 30 percent of in-state salaries up to $100,000 per person. Revenues from the filming of “Transformers 3″ are not yet tabulated as shooting will continue through the end of August.
California, the U.S. film industry’s home, has been reportedly losing business as a shooting location for film production as other states have offered advantageous tax breaks. An estimated $2.4 billion in wages and $4.2 billion in total revenues have been lost from 1997 to 2010 as production has moved out of the Golden State, according to a recent study. Recent legislation has been implemented to stem the tide: 20 percent credit for feature film ($1 million to $75 million production budget), and 25 percent credit for independent films ($1 million to $10 million) with some guidelines about shooting dates.