To clarify: IFO still accepting new tax credit applications

Governor Rauner and Speaker Madigan

In the past few days since Gov. Bruce Rauner’s budget cuts included suspending film industry’s hard earned tax credit, confusion has been rampant and the effect negative, causing a move of projects to other incentive states.

To allay some of the confusion, the Independent Filmmakers Project (IPA), led by filmmaker Nicole Bernardi-Reis, said it has spoken with Illinois Film Office director Christine Dudley who assured:

*The incentive program has not been suspended.

*Existing approved applications will continue to be processed, issued and transferred.

*Producers are encouraged to continue to file for tax credits.

However, the state will defer new tax credit applications. New applications will not be processed until the legislature can agree on terms of a new state budget.

On a positive note, says Wayne Kubacki, Essanay equipment company co-owner and a founding board member of the Illinois Production Alliance (IPA), “The state’s fiscal calendar will almost certainly dictate that the political impasse must be resolved within the next couple of months.”

He adds, “There’s no reason to assume that projects will not be awarded the credit because of the present deferral, or that final approvals and credit certificates will be significantly delayed.”

IFP is urging its members who are planning to film in Illinois, to fill out their applications as soon as possible, saying, “It’s harder to suspend a program that has demonstrated need and a positive impact on Illinois’ bottom line.”

Filmmakers are urged to send a message Gov. Rauner on his official comment site, urging him to remove the suspension, or phone his office at 217/782-0244. 

In the meantime, says Kubacki, “Let’s hope that an absolute minimum number of productions are frightened away unnecessarily by this unfortunate temporary glitch in government.”