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Kansas City Council Committee Approves Incentives To Lure Film And TV Production


A proposal for tax incentives to bring production of films, television series episodes and major TV commercials to Kansas City cleared a City Council committee Wednesday.

The details of the plan have been in the making for several months at the Film and Media Office of the city's Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Development chair Scott Taylor told the Finance Committee that Kansas City is losing talent and production contracts to cities that offer the incentives. A particularly frustrating case, he said was losing a movie set in Kansas City to Atlanta.

We're sending things such as Kansas City Star dispenser boxes, Stroud's fried chicken restaurant to go containers, Boulevard Beer bottles and caps ... to recreate Kansas City in Georgia.”

A number of representatives of local production technology and talent also spoke in favor of the plan.

Rick Cowan, who offers production services and coordination for out-of-town firms said he has repeatedly been frustrated when Kansas City had more to offer than other cities but didn't get the film or commercial because some other city offered tax incentives.

Cowan told of recently losing a major car commercial that was to be filmed in a cave.  The Japanese producer considered the limestone quarry storage caves around Kansas City, but the question, he said, came down to what offer the city could make and there was none.

Cowan said that unfortunately that commercial will be filmed in a salt mine near Hutchinson, Kansas before Kansas City can have incentives in place.

Eligibility for the rebates will be based on qualifying parameters such as total budget, number of local hotel nights booked, percentage of shooting that is in Kansas City, number of local performers, technicians and production personnel hired.

Based on those factors, a production could earn rebates between 3.5 percent and 7 percent of the value of specific local production expenses.

The measure now goes to the full City Council, which is expected to approve it.

Steve Bell is afternoon news anchor and business news reporter for KCUR.  He may be reached at 816-235-5173 or by e-mail as steveb@kcur.org

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