by NATASHA VITALE
The Assembly Committee on Taxation listened to testimony Thursday on Senate Bill 165, which would issue transferable tax credits to producers who film in Nevada.
The sponsor of the bill, Sen. Aaron Ford, D-Las Vegas, spoke of the benefits that film production would bring to Nevada.
“In order to attract productions that bring revenue to our state that create long-term good jobs, we need to play on a level playing field,” Ford said. “SB 165 is in fact a jobs creation act that specifically targets productions we’re not currently attracting.”
Apart from the revenue that the film tax would bring in, Ford said he also expects that the legislation would bring more tourism to Nevada.
Mayor Carolyn Goodman of Las Vegas also testified in favor of the bill, citing the numerous producers and actors who have approached her, wanting to film television shows and movies in Las Vegas.
“I have had numerous visitors from the film business [who] asked why we haven’t offered tax credits to incentivize film here,” Goodman said. “I feel absolutely confident that this would be a win-win for our state. We need to find something to grasp that will give us jobs.”
Despite the many supporters who testified at the hearing, the committee expressed skepticism over how much money the bill would bring to the state.
“I don’t think it we’re going to generate a lot of revenue off of this,” said Assembly Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick, D-Las Vegas. “I think we may get some jobs, which is important. In my mind, I don’t think it’s going to triple the dollar value like we expect.”
Opponents said Nevada doesn’t have enough money to invest in the film industry when the state is struggling with its current budget.
“At a time when the state is looking for money, you are potentially giving money away when you’re also looking for money for education,” said Carole Vilardo of the Nevada Taxpayers Association, who testified against the bill.
The committee took no action on the bill.