Milwaukee offers filmmakers cash rebates now while waiting for state tax incentives start

Milwaukee decided that it doesn’t want to wait until Jan. 1, 2008 for new tax credits of up to 25% for qualifying productions to kick in.

Through an arrangement with VISIT Milwaukee, the city’s convention and tourism bureau, up to $100,000 in cash rebates are available for films shooting in Milwaukee between now and Dec. 31, 2007.

The incentive amount will be based on the number of hotel rooms that are used and booked by VISIT Milwaukee whose sales staff will secure the lowest possible industry rates.

“Some of the most recent high-impact national image ads have been shot at the Milwaukee Art Museum, the first North American project designed by famed Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava,” said Scott Robbe, executive director of Film Wisconsin.

“With the incentives still a few months away, this film fund could help supplement the costs of a commercial spot or an independent film shoot.”

Milwaukee, according to Doug Neilson, president and CEO of VISIT Milwaukee, is eager to attract filmmakers. “The city represents that ?new face,’ a combination of old and new, classic and sleek architecture, a great lake, a river and a big city look without the big city hassles.”

Robbe can be reached at 414/287-4251.