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Action? Another film tax credit bill in the works, legislator says

For those who’ve lost hope that Las Vegas could be the next Hollywood, fear not. Another attempt to expand the state’s film tax credit program is in the works.

Sen. Roberta Lange, D-Las Vegas, said she plans to introduce a pared-down film tax credit bill during the 2025 legislative session after her last proposal died without a vote in either chamber.

“There was lots of interest, and so I really felt like we should bring it back because it offers economic development for Southern Nevada, which I think is really necessary and needed and would be really good for us,” Lange said.

Lange’s newest proposal would make $95 million in tax credits available each year for 17 years. That’s pared down from last year’s proposal of $190 million in credits over the next two decades. Lange said bringing down the cost is meant to make the proposal more palatable for legislators.

What won’t change, however, is a requirement that film studios hoping to benefit from those tax credits must first build infrastructure.

The tax credits will be processed and audited through the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, the senator said.

In a letter dated Feb. 15, Lange laid out the new proposal and told her legislative colleagues that she would be bringing the bill again, but earlier in the session.

“I regret that the bill landed on your desks with less than four weeks remaining in the session, making it much harder to give full consideration,” the letter reads.

The letter also details a partnership between Lange and Nevada Studios, a studio alliance formed late last year.

Composed of studio operator The MBS Group and Birtcher Development, the alliance is proposing a 34-acre “Las Vegas Media Campus,” complete with soundstages and other “state of the art creation components,” according to a press release from the group.

Birtcher Development, joined by Sony Pictures Entertainment and Howard Hughes Corp., was an architect of the 2023 film tax credit bill.

That bill made a majority of the tax credits available to companies that produced content at the proposed Las Vegas Media Campus — managed and partly financed by Birtcher — and another campus in Summerlin. That campus was set to be managed by Sony and Howard Hughes.

Lange said she sent the letter now, as opposed to nearer to the start of the legislative session, because she wanted to give her colleagues time to digest the idea.

“It’s going to take time to educate people,” Lange said. “It took me a long time to really digest it and understand it. It’s creating a whole new business space in Nevada, and isn’t a small feat.”

Lange also said there had been some discussion of a special legislative session to allow lawmakers to consider the bill before the next legislative session, but she said that wasn’t likely to happen.

Contact Taylor R. Avery at TAvery@reviewjournal.com. Follow @travery98 on X.

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