Washington Film Makers Win Big in State Budget
June 30, 2017 | By Rep. Marcus Riccelli
OLYMPIA—The popular and successful Motion Picture Competitiveness Program will continue due to last minute negotiating by key lawmakers in the State House. Under the 2017-2019 budget proposal, the program that was at risk of sunsetting, will extend the incentive for two years to draw motion picture business to the state, boosting local economies. Representative Marcus Riccelli (D-Spokane) sponsored two bills to maintain the program with sponsors from both sides of the aisle.
“I’m grateful my colleagues and I were able to support this incredibly important program that helps families across Washington, but especially Spokane, where we’ve had successful movies and TV benefit our local businesses,” said Riccelli. “This will help continue to grow good jobs like 200 in Spokane that are tied to the TV Series Z-Nation, as wells as work towards preventing significant economic benefit from heading to other states.
Representative Nicole Macri (D-Seattle) agreed.
“This extension of the current program keeps Washington competitive with our regional neighbors. I’m happy we’re able to keep fighting for more business in the state and hope we can expand the program in the future,” said Macri.
“As a small business owner, I understand how much it means to small businesses when they get even a few thousand dollars in new business. It helps them to survive and to grow – to buy a new piece of equipment, add another employee, or just pay their current bills. This program provides that opportunity to many small businesses across our state and is why I felt it so important that it be extended.” said Rep Ed Orcutt (R-Kalama).
“Those businesses who rely on the motion picture industry for their revenue can breathe a sigh of relief. To those in the film industry looking for a place to shoot their latest blockbuster hit, I say ‘Come to Washington!’,” said Rep. Joan McBride (D-Bellevue), another co-sponsor of the original bill.
The film tax incentive has already supported 25 projects in the greater Spokane area, resulting in $46.5 million in local spending and more than 5,500 good-paying jobs. Statewide, more than 14,500 jobs have been created under the current program.