After Quentin Tarantino passed on Arizona in favor of New Mexico to film part of his recent motion picture, “Django Unchained,” it created discourse within many local political circles. Republican Senator Al Melvin then proposed a bill in order to entice film production crews into filming movie scenes in the state with a 20% tax credit incentive. An additional 5% would be awarded if the film company heavily used a production studio in Arizona, as well to further lure studios to the desert landscape.
This bill is intended to bring business into the state, but some say this tax credit will not help the current job crises affecting Arizona. A bill similar to 1242, which was in effect from 2005-2010, provided incentives for filmmakers to work on location within the state, but was not renewed. Senator Al Melvin argues that some of the long term effects include tourism, hospitality, and construction to the areas being filmed. Opposition claims the opposite, that long-sustaining jobs will not be created due to the ephemeral nature of film production.
The expenditures for the film need to meet the $250,000 mark before the crew receives their incentive tax breaks. Another stipulation involves a 70 million dollar cap on returns, with nothing paid back until post-production, so that the film budget is spent within the state. Historical old-west movie settings like Old Tucson and other desert towns are hoping that if this bill passes, it will bring a much needed economic resurgence. Arizona is trying to be a fierce competitor in the US in order to attract jobs and create investment opportunities for future generations.