New state tax incentives lure big movie studio projects to Phoenix area

Jul 27, 2022, 4:25 AM

PHOENIX – Two multimillion-dollar movie studio projects are moving ahead in metro Phoenix after Arizona lawmakers authorized lucrative incentives to create a film industry in the state.

The Legislature passed the Arizona Motion Picture Production Program late in the last session, which ended in June, and Gov. Doug Ducey let bill become law without signing it.

The program offers tax credits to cover a percentage of costs up to $25 million annually to companies that make a movie at a qualified production facility in Arizona.

The cap starts at $75 million next year, rises to $100 million in 2024 and goes to $125 million in 2025 and beyond. The program was authorized through 2043.

Randy Murray, who is with the Arizona Film and Digital Media Coalition, and others helped state Sen. David Gowan craft the legislation.

“It is designed to build an industry here in Arizona,” Murray, owner of Phoenix’s Randy Murray Productions, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Tuesday.

“It’s not designed to focus on so much on bringing short-term jobs to Arizona. It’s focused on creating permanent jobs in Arizona.”

Acacia Filmed Entertainment announced plans Monday to build its Arizona Studio Complex in Scottsdale to take advantage of the incentives.

Plans for the project call for a 624,000-square-feet campus with 14 soundstages built in two phases on 70 acres of land.

Acacia is led by Matthew George, co-president of Castle Rock Entertainment, Rob Reiner’s production company.

“With strong consumer demand for quality original content, the need for studio soundstage space has increased and global studios are looking for financial incentives to support this ever-growing production pressure,” George, whose production credits include “Wind River” and “LBJ,” said in a press release.

“Acacia’s Arizona Studio Complex will deliver a world-class facility tailored to the highly specialized needs of top filmmakers coupled with competitive tax breaks to ease the burden of big budget productions.”

Another project, the Desert Studios Complex, is aiming break ground in Buckeye early next year, according to Variety, with 16 sound stages in the first phase and the potential to expand to 64.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Brandon King contributed to this report.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Screenshot/ADOT Webcam)...

Crash shuts down eastbound US 60 near Loop 202 in Mesa

An accident shut down eastbound U.S. 60 in Mesa early Wednesday, transportation officials said.
7 hours ago
Janet Murguia, president and CEO of UnidosUS, spoke about her group's "Count on Us" campaign at an ...
Griselda Zetino

Campaign launches to paint ‘accurate narrative about Latinos’ in Arizona

A national campaign aimed at highlighting the contributions Latinos make in Arizona and other parts of the U.S. recently launched in Phoenix.
7 hours ago
(KTAR News Photo/Taylor Tasler)...
Taylor Tasler

Police foundation hopes to raise money to remodel Phoenix Victim’s Center

The city of Phoenix and the Phoenix Police Foundation are making sexual assault and domestic abuse survivors a priority with new funding for its victim services center.  
7 hours ago
Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone a podium...
SuElen Rivera

Maricopa County Sheriff Penzone says few responses from officials for election safety meeting

Paul Penzone said the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office has received few responses following an announcement it will host a safety summit for elected officials and those seeking office on Thursday.
7 hours ago
(Mar-A-Lago and Kari Lake: AP Photos; Shipping container border wall: Twitter Photo/@DougDucey)...
Kevin Stone

Q&A with Arizona governor hopeful Kari Lake on Trump search warrant, border barrier, more

Here’s what Kari Lake, the Republican nominee for governor in Arizona, had to say about the FBI search at Mar-A-Lago, border barriers and more.
7 hours ago
(Twitter Photo/Pork on a Fork)...

Pork on a Fork opens Chandler location after more than year of delays

The wait is over in Chandler for the debut of barbecue restaurant Pork on a Fork after more than a year of delays.
7 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
New state tax incentives lure big movie studio projects to Phoenix area