A new Maryland bill was passed Wednesday, providing a tax credit incentive for producers to launch national tours and pre-Broadway productions in the state.
The announcement, made by Ron Legler, president of the France-Merrick Performing Arts Center, home of Broadway Across America’s Hippodrome Theatre, together with bill sponsors Maryland State Senator Guy Guzzone and Maryland State Delegate Vanessa E. Atterbeary, stated that the tax credit goes into effect on July 1, 2022.
The legislation, formally known as Maryland House Bill 641, will help create jobs in the state when tours and other productions sit down in Maryland for tech rehearsals and openings, allowing theaters to remain open during the Summer and Fall months when they may otherwise be closed, according to the announcement. In addition to the creation of jobs within Maryland, the bill also provides tourism opportunities and revenue for the state through hotel stays and travel.
Eligible productions may receive up to $2 million in refundable tax credits. There is a maximum of $5 million that can be awarded in tax credits per year.
“The last two years of the pandemic have been devastating for the live entertainment industry and the hundreds of union and creative workers who rely on live entertainment to pay their mortgages and put food on their family’s tables,” Legler said. “We applaud this bipartisan effort to support the performing arts in Maryland and help shorten the economic road to recovery for the industry.”
New York State has similar legislation, with the tax credit incentive allowing tours to tech and open upstate.
In addition, as part of the tax credit program, the Hippodrome Foundation, Inc. will provide educational opportunities to youth at no cost, which will include access to artists and creatives.
“The Hippodrome Foundation plans on taking full advantage of all the talent and creative experts who will now come to Maryland to share their experiences with student-based organizations and schools across the region,” says Olive Waxter, executive director of HFI. “We look forward to building free educational opportunities, masterclasses and workshops around each production thanks to this groundbreaking new tax credit.”
Broadway Across America is part of the John Gore Organization family of companies, which includes Broadway.com, The Broadway Channel, BroadwayBox.com and Group Sales Box Office, as well as Broadway Brands, the parent company of Broadway News.