Emergency Bill to Close Tax ‘Loopholes’ Includes $46 Million Tax Loophole for Hollywood Movie Makers

By Penny Starr | May 27, 2010 | 3:50 PM EDT

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., attends a ‘Healthcare Thank You Rally’ on Capitol Hill on Thursday, May 6, 2010. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

A bill titled “The American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act of 2010” that will add $115 billion to the federal deficit between now and October 2011, and that the Democratic leadership intends to push through Congress before they leave for their week-long Memorial Day recess, includes a special $46 million tax loophole for Hollywood movie and television producers.

The major provisions in the 433-page bill—which are considered “emergencies” by Congress--would extend unemployment benefits, extend government subsidies for COBRA health insurance premiums, and prevent doctors from being hit with a dramatic cut in Medicare reimbursement rates that would kick in under current law if this bill were not enacted.

According to the Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation, “The American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act” will increase the federal deficit by $115 billion over the next seventeen months, while over the longer run (as new taxes included in the bill kick in) the deficit impact would be somewhat attenuated. “In total,” says the CBO analysis of the bill, “CBO and JCT estimate that the legislation would increase budget deficits by about $115 billion for fiscal years 2010 and 2011 and by about $84 billion over the 2010-2015 and 2010-2020 periods.”
The House Ways and Means Committee’s 29-page summary of the bill (H.R. 4213) lists “miscellaneous” items tucked into the bill along with its major provisions. The special tax break for movie and television producers is included in this list. Says the summary: “The bill would extend for one year (through 2010) the provision that allows film and television producers to expense the first $15 million of production costs incurred in the United States ($20 million if the costs are incurred in economically depressed areas in the United States). This proposal is estimated to cost $46 million over 10 years.”

The provision is included in Section 255 of the bill, which is headlined: "Special Expensing Rules For Certain Film And Television Productions."