by Holly Michels
April 6, 2021
Montana State News Bureau Chief Holly Michels summarizes the day's news from the Montana Legislative session.
A bill to allow up to $250 million in annual film tax credits to entice projects to Montana, up from a $10 million cap, cleared an initial vote in the House on Tuesday by an 82-16 margin.
House Bill 340 is from Speaker of the House Wylie Galt, a Republican from Martinsdale. After the floor vote, the bill was quickly heard in the House Appropriations Committee. It faces a deadline of Thursday to advance to the Senate.
"You want a good jobs bill, you want a tax cut bill, this is the bill," Galt told the House on Tuesday.
This session's version of the Montana Economic Development Industry Advancement (MEDIA) Act is an update from the initial 2019 bill, also from Galt.
Film operations can claim tax credits generally on up to 25% of wages for up to $10 million, with that jumping to 30% in economically underserved areas. The bill also dramatically expands the types of projects and work that qualifies.
HB 340 also expands from traditional films to instructional videos, internet commercials and non-scripted television programs.