CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Members of the West Virginia House of Delegates voted in an overwhelming and bipartisan manner Feb. 22 to bring back the state’s film tax credit after much study and improvement, led by Delegate Dianna Graves, R-Kanawha.
House Bill 2096 would restore the film investment tax credit, which the Legislature first created in 2007, but was repealed in 2018 after a legislative auditor’s report recommended eliminating the tax credits.
Graves was the lead sponsor of the bill, which now goes to the West Virginia Senate for debate.
“For too many years now, West Virginia has been the only state in our region without this film credit,” Graves said. “That effectively meant Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and every other content producer out there had reasons to go to any state other than West Virginia to film their projects.”
Graves put many hours into crafting the measure adopted by the House this week to ensure it would meet the original program’s goals while guarding against its deficiencies.
“This credit benefits more than 6,000 existing West Virginia businesses by opening the state for film productions,” she said. “We’re talking about people from outside the state and within it staying in our hotels, renting cars, buying gas, building props and sets with West Virginia lumber, fabric for costumes, food from grocery stores and restaurants, renting heavy equipment, needing dry cleaning, buying insurance from West Virginia agents, hiring West Virginia crew members, lawyers and accountants and all the other multitude of services and projects that must be purchased here in the Mountain State to qualify for our film tax credit.
“West Virginia can be open to business. We should all want that money spent here in our state instead of beyond our borders anywhere else.”
House Bill 2096 passed the House by a vote of 87 to 11.