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Nevada lawmakers get first look at bill extending tax breaks to film studios

FILE - A Sony logo is seen at the headquarters of Sony Corp. on May 10, 2022, in Tokyo. A bipartisan group of Nevada lawmakers introduced a bill Thursday, May 11, 2023, that would give record tax credits to expand film production in southern Nevada, including a Sony expansion in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, File)
Eugene Hoshiko/AP
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AP
FILE - A Sony logo is seen at the headquarters of Sony Corp. on May 10, 2022, in Tokyo. A bipartisan group of Nevada lawmakers introduced a bill Thursday, May 11, 2023, that would give record tax credits to expand film production in southern Nevada, including a Sony expansion in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, File)

Lawmakers on Tuesday got their first detailed look at a bill extending massive tax breaks to film studios looking to relocate to Las Vegas. The estimated $4.6 billion in tax incentives would make it the largest economic development deal in state history.

Under Senate Bill 496, Nevada would expand its film tax credit program from $10 million to nearly $190 million annually for the next 20 years.

Most of that money, about $175 million a year, would fund two proposed media production campuses in Clark County. UNLV and Birtcher Development, who helped draft the legislation, will manage the Las Vegas site. Sony Pictures Entertainment and the Howard Hughes Corporation will operate the other in Summerlin.

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Senator Roberta Lange, a Democrat from Las Vegas, said the investment would mark a transformational shift for the state's economy.

"We all know that we need to come up with another industry in Nevada and that we need to have a vision for what it could be. We need to talk about sustainability and be able to have a sustainable economy that will last us, that will fund our schools, that will fund the things that we need in our state," she said.

Critics like the Nevada GOP and Battle Born Progress have balked at the price tag. They say the influx of new people would strain local infrastructure and that the money is needed elsewhere.

Supporters include labor groups, business leaders, the cities of Las Vegas and Henderson and the Nevada System of Higher Education, among several others.

Paul serves as KNPR's producer and reporter in Northern Nevada. Based in Reno, Paul specializes in covering state government and the legislature.