Open letter to Gov. Doug Ducey, my Representatives and Editor The Daily Courier:
Please do all you can to re-instate the “Arizona Motion Picture Tax Incentive Program,” which expired around 2009 and several attempts to get it re-instated have failed since.
I am currently retired but was remembering back when I was working to support a family, living paycheck to paycheck, and was able to get extra work working with film crews who were filming in Phoenix as a result of the tax incentives that were in effect, at the time, through the State of Arizona Tax Incentive Program. The extra money myself, and other Arizonans, were earning helped our families get by. Then there were the out-of-state crews and talent that were filling hotel rooms, renting cars, eating at restaurants, etc.
Now I read that a film is being shot in New Mexico about Arizona’s own Granite Mountain Hotshot crew, 19 of whom died in the 2013 Yarnell Hill fire. They will employ 190 New Mexico crew members, 40 actors from New Mexico and about 1,300 New Mexico background talent (Daily Courier, June 13). Then add in the extra money that would be spent on hotels, meals and transportation and you will see our state is losing a lot of revenue due to not offering a bit of a tax break. These are some of the positions I used to make money moonlighting with and these are jobs that could be filled by Arizona workers if the Tax Incentive Program had been in effect to get this film about Arizona filmed in Arizona.
We do get some film work, such as recent project on Route 303, which is probably due to not finding an un-opened freeway anywhere else. But think of the large number of films that go to other states that do have tax incentives.
So please, get that tax incentive back in effect and keep these jobs and money in Arizona.