Last Friday, The Governor of Puerto Rico, Luis G. Fortuño, signed into law the Economic Incentives for the Development of the Puerto Rico Film Industry Act, a bill that is designed to make Puerto Rico’s current production incentives among the most attractive in the industry. Participating in the event was Jennifer López and Marc Anthony. It had been previously reported, that the entertainment industry power couple was interested in building a state-of-the-art studio in Fajardo, Puerto Rico. At the event, Anthony and Lopez did not make any comments on their plans for the studio. Marc Anthony praised the Fortuño administration for updating the film incentives law, and said, that "all producers have their eyes on the island." Jennifer Lopez said," she always believed in the potential of Puerto Rico."
Under the new law, the government of Puerto Rico has created a series of new incentives and expanded current ones. They include expanded lists of eligible projects, higher caps on existing incentives and new incentives for the development and operation of production facilities on the Island. The law, which replaces one initially passed in 1999, establishes a system of tax decrees very similar to what the island government offers the industrial and manufacturing sectors.
The new law expands the definition of eligible projects to include documentaries, film shorts, music videos, video games and the filming of live shows, among others. It also increases the amount of the tax credit to 25% from 20% for related infrastructure projects, subject to a minimum $5 million investment. Studio operators who qualify will get a special tax rate of between 4% and 10% on earnings, complete exemption on dividends, plus exemptions against municipal and property taxes.
The new law will be overseen by the Department of Economic Development and Commerce and the Puerto Rico Film Commission. According to the Puerto Rico Film Commission, a dozen movies, TV series and documentaries shot in Puerto Rico last year brought in $70 million to the economy of Puerto Rico. Over 60 productions have taken advantage of Puerto Rico’s current incentive program, including Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean 4,” Universal Picture’s “Fast 5” and Warner Brothers’ “The Losers,” in addition to a variety of independent films such as “The Rum Diary,” starring Johnny Depp, “The Men Who Stare at Goats,” starring George Clooney and “Che”, starring Puerto Rican-born actor Benicio Del Toro.
Great news for Puerto Rico and the film industry. Take a look at a video from the event: