Quaint villages and dramatic coastlines make for unforgettable backgrounds 

New England’s visually dazzling fall foliage, charming coastal villages and winding, European-inspired streets are appealing to a variety of productions. Whether you want an authentic period piece or vibrant outdoor adventure, New England offers the backdrop for you.

Connecticut

There has been a recent influx of filmmakers and producers flocking to Connecticut to take advantage of the Constitution State’s diverse landscapes and colorful seasons. Its close proximity to New York City and shared film crew workforce with New York City and New Jersey makes this state extremely appealing to producers. Not only do the state’s tax incentives cover motion picture productions but digital animation as well.

Producers of the new Netflix movie The Good Nurse starring Eddie Redmayne and Jessica Chastain saw filming potential in the coastal cityscape of Stamford. The small-town charm of Connecticut was also the inspiration for Amy Jones, the brilliant screenwriter of the beloved 1988 Julia Roberts classic Mystic Pizza, where visitors to Mystic can still get a slice today.

Incentive Type: Transferable, Non-Refundable Tax Credit

Incentive Amount:10-30%

Minimum Spend: $100,000 (10% credit), $500,000 (15% credit), $1 million (30% credit)

Bonus: N/A

Audit Requirements: An audit by a Connecticut-licensed CPA is required.

Application: Submit a hard copy Eligibility Application to the Department of Economic Community Development (DECD) no later than 90 days after the first qualified production expense or cost has been incurred in Connecticut. Include administration fee and any other required information to be considered complete.

Sales Use Tax Relief: Yes

Hotel Occupancy Tax Relief: Yes

Sunset Date: None

Maine

Maine offers attractive film perks including two production incentives. The Wage Rebate offers 10% (nonresidents) and 12% (residents) reimbursement for wages paid to employees during production. The Expense Tax Credit offers a 5% non-refundable/non-transferable tax credit for non-wage production expenses incurred in The Pine Tree State. Maine also does not require sales tax on purchases of most fuel and electricity for film productions.

The 2010 Leonardo DiCaprio mystery thriller Shutter Island and 1998 family drama Cider House Rules utilized the rugged natural beauty of Acadia National Park as an onsite filming location. Maine offers more than mountains and vast wilderness. The steep cliffs overlooking the churning Atlantic Ocean flank the state’s east coast, boasting miles of dramatic and memorable filming destinations that could easily be used as a stand-in for rugged locations abroad.

Incentive Type: Credit/rebate combo

Incentive Amount: 12% (all residents), 10% (all nonresidents)

Minimum Spend: $75,000

Bonus: N/A

Audit Requirements: None

Application: Must provide a projected schedule for pre-production, production and post- production reflecting production will begin 60 days after certification. Applications must be authentic from the department; provide names of principals involved, certificate of insurance, information demonstrating the production is fully financed and follow all other legislative guidelines.

Sales Use Tax Relief: No

Hotel Occupancy Tax Relief: Yes

Sunset Date: None

Massachusetts

Thanks to tax incentives paired with iconic New England charm and the state’s popularity among cinematographers, Massachusetts is known as “Hollywood East.” The brownstones and old brick pathways of Boston and the sleepy coastal magic of Cape Cod beguile producers with authentic New England backdrops oozing with old-world character.

Boston was used as a New York City backdrop for the all-female blockbuster remake of Ghostbusters. In the 2009 Sandra Bullock rom-com The Proposal starring Ryan Reynolds, an Alaska seaside family vista overlooking the ocean was filmed in Manchester-By-The-Sea and Rockport on the Cape. Historic Salem was the obvious magical choice for the 1993 cult Halloween classic Hocus Pocus.

Incentive Type: Transferable, Partially Refundable Tax Credit

Incentive Amount: 25%

Minimum Spend: $50,000

Bonus: N/A

Audit Requirements: For projects over $250,000, an independent audit from a Massachusetts-certified CPA is required. Or an Agreed-Upon Procedures form can be completed by the production’s CPA

Application: Massachusetts has three tax incentives: Payroll expense credit, Productions expense tax credit and Sales tax exemption. Apply to the Department of Revenue for a Sales Tax Exemption prior to making any purchases in Massachusetts

Sales Use Tax Relief: Yes

Hotel Occupancy Tax Relief: No

Sunset Date: None

Rhode Island 

Picturesque seaside locations throughout the Ocean State offer prime shooting locations used by revered RISD students and well-known producers alike. The school of design encourages experimental film and photography, so it’s no surprise that the state offers a 30% Musical and Theatrical Production Tax Credit program to those that qualify as an incentive.

In the 1990s, Rhode Island caught the attention of the auteur Farrelly brothers for the backdrops of their comedies Dumb and Dumber and There’s Something About Mary. Television programs like Family Guy and the 1995 NBC drama Providence made Rhode Island a staple of their television shows, catapulting the small state onto televisions around the world.

Incentive Type: Transferable, Non-Refundable Tax Credit

Incentive Amount: 30%

Minimum Spend: $100,000

Bonus: N/A

Audit Requirements: An audit by an independent Rhode Island certified CPA is required

Application: Submit the Initial Application prior to the start of production; begin principal photography no more than 180 days from the start date listed on the initial certification letter

Sales Use Tax Relief: No

Hotel Occupancy Tax Relief: No

Sunset Date: June 3, 2027

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