Originally created 04/08/06

Lawmakers to consider increase in incentives to woo film industry



COLUMBIA - South Carolina could become the scene of a major motion picture if lawmakers approve bigger incentives for the film industry.

State Rep. Shirley Hinson, R-Goose Creek, and 10 other Lowcountry delegation members filed a bill Thursday that would increase the state's rebate on film wages and in-state production expenses to 30 percent from 15 percent. The incentives would remain capped at $10 million for payroll and $7.5 million for goods and services.

"South Carolina is a dynamic stop for the motion picture industry," Ms. Hinson said.

The General Assembly doubled incentives last year to get to the 15 percent level.

"It was a huge step forward for us, but when you compare South Carolina to other states, you have got to give film companies another incentive to get here," Ms. Hinson said.

State economists estimate the tax breaks would cost the state $4.5 million. But supporters, including Gov. Mark Sanford, say movies are a clean industry that would bring in more money than the tax breaks would cost.