Lawmakers Look To Attract More Film Productions To Montana
As film and TV-show production become more common in Montana, lawmakers are already seeking to expand a new tax incentive and encourage the industry to plant firmer roots in the state.
Paramount’s Yellowstone, the most famous recent production out of Montana, is an example of what legislators hope to see more of. The show was mostly shot elsewhere until last summer when the new tax incentives kicked in.
The Montana Department of Commerce has given tax breaks to 26 productions since 2019, when the Montana Legislature passed the MEDIA Act. The law gives media and film companies a 20% tax credit on their production spendings, with additional credits in some situations.
Montana Film Commissioner Allison Whitmer said the incentive draws film crews for movies, television series and commercials to the state.
“We have things like Yellowstone, which is contemporary westerns, but we also have reality shows and we have shows about dinosaurs,” she explained. “We have shows about people going into the woods and learning about flora and fauna.”
Supporters of the tax credit say it is a worthy trade-off that should be taken step further — the state loses a few million dollars a year in tax revenue at the outset but adds more economic development over the long term.
“I’ll leave it to the proponents to go through the numbers to show what a wild success it was,” said Wylie Galt.
By: Megan Myscofski