Talk shows will have a voice in the tax credit when the House votes its passage the first week of April

The long-overdue passage of the 2008 Illinois Film Tax Credit?now including talk shows that spend $5 million in production, like Oprah and Jerry Springer?should be a done deal when the House reconvenes in April in Springfield.

The Senate committee approved the measure 13-0. It needs approval by the full Senate before it goes back to the House for a final vote.

In January, the House voted 108-7 to extend the tax credit to Dec. 31, 2008.

The Illinois Production Alliance (IPA), which initiated the credit in 2003, has been pushing for the credit’s extension at least through 2009, to compete with states whose credits stretch into 2015.

(The IPA is the sole industry organization that lobbies in Springfield on behalf of the film industry.)

According to the Dept. of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO), of which the Illinois Film Office is a bureau, the incentive brought in more than $250 million into the state’s economy between 2004 and 2006.

Because they are outside the realm of big screen production, talk shows were not included when the Tax Bill was originally formulated five years ago.

It popped up when locally-based Jeff Glass, the regional lobbyist for the Motion Picture Producers Assn. of America (MPAA) signed NBC/Universal as a client with the goal of getting a tax break for its “Jerry Springer Show,” based at Ch. 5.