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Jan 19, 2014 12:38 AM by Sam Salzwedel

Tucson making incentives for film and TV jobs

TUCSON - The City is trying to provide incentives to attract film and television production since a statewide measure is unlikely this year.

Productions can receive a 75-percent discount to rent city owned or managed properties, like the Tucson Convention Center.

"They rent hotel rooms. They rent cars. They eat at the restaurants," City Councilman Steve Kozachik said. "They build sets, and so they go out to hardware stores and they buy paint by the pallet."

Paul Stapleton-Smith used to live in California and makes a living off media production in Southern Arizona. He said he has shot projects at the Convention Center.

"What filmmakers require are large spaces," Stapleton-Smith said, "with parking lots that are quiet, and the ceiling heights in the Convention Center, and the amount of floor space in the Convention Center."

Through Visit Tucson, companies can also get a 75-percent rebate on bed taxes paid within city limits.

"We're setting the threshold, $2 million production value," Kozachik said. "That way, every one who shoots a YouTube video or posts something on the internet isn't coming to us for a rebate."

Stapleton-Smith is still hoping Arizona lawmakers will consider a tax break similar to New Mexico or Louisiana.

"The city could propose to build a road, but it certainly couldn't propose to build highway across the entire state," he said. "There are things that only the state can do because of the scale."

The City Attorney is writing the final wording, and Kozachik expects it to unanimously pass the Council in February.

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