How a Movie-Ticket Tax Could Bring More Filmmakers to Colorado

February 2011

As Boulder prepares to welcome Oliver Stone and James Franco to town for the city's seventh-annual International Film Festival, Kevin Shand, the director of Colorado's Office of Film, Television & Media, is preparing to step down, reports the Denver Business Journal. His last day will be February 15, and so far no replacement has been named to head the organization, which promotes filmmaking efforts in the state. "I am sad because I have not accomplished everything that I wanted to accomplish, but I am glad because of the progress we have made, the friendships I have established, and some of the opportunities that are being presented to me," Shand says.

In November, he told 5280 senior associate editor Julie Dugdale that Colorado is well poised to become a film mecca—save for one detail: "We have everything we need to be successful with the exception of a large incentive," he said, referring to the tax breaks many states offer to production companies in exchange for shooting movies locally.

Incidentally, state Representative Tom Massey has introduced a bill that would provide those incentives in Colorado through a 10-cent tax per movie ticket sold (via the Pueblo Chieftain). But Democratic state Senate President Brandon Shaffer is already saying the bill is as good as dead. "The Republican Party likes to beat up on Democrats, back us into a corner of tax-and-spend liberals," he says. "The fact is, Republicans are bringing forward as many fees as Democrats down here. This is a good example." But that doesn't kill the idea, notes 9News, which reports that a ballot measure could leave the issue up to voters in the next statewide election.