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Rustic Charm

Idaho, a landlocked state in the north-western region of the US, is large, with breathtaking landscapes, sparsely populated small towns, green topography and a hospitable local population. The cities may not be the most popular ones, but the old-setting towns allure picnickers from across the world to historic sites and recreation areas, which have been preserved here.

In comparison to other vivid capitals, Boise wears a slightly demure look but nevertheless boasts several highrises, shopping arcades and architecture that are city’s main attractions. Located on the banks of the Boise River, this is one of the most populated cities in the north-western region and is the financial hub of the state.

Downtown Boise is home to many pivotal skyscrapers, posh localities and an array of dining choices on the lively 8th Street – the pedestrian zone. It is the North End that has striking boulevards, which hitherto have also been preserved.

Natural hot springs are a point of interest, situated in the Warm Springs area of the city. Other sites that are picturesque on reel are Zoo Boise, State Capitol, the Bogus Basin ski area and Boise Towne Square Mall.

Among other urbanised destinations within the state, Idaho Falls comprises world-class outdoor activities as well as a high standard of living, with the wealthiest residing in this city. The conurbation is known for its historic downtown, decked in red-stone buildings and Idaho Falls on the Snake River.

Another rapidly growing city – the second largest in the state – is Nampa. It swarms with parks, recreation areas and entertainment venues. Pocatello is an important metropolitan area and a centre for agriculture. Its colourful edifices and meadows are very charming.

Of the smaller towns, Paris and Wallace are pioneer locations. Mormon Tabernacle in Paris, a sandstone church, is an impressive landmark, while Wallace is a historic city and has various mining communities – many of them deserted.

The numerous towns and cities within the boundary of this ‘green state’ boast an untouched environment and cowboy culture, which are not only cinematographically appealing but can be tweaked for any film genre. And all this coupled with a whopping incentive makes it a great filming location.

WHY IDAHO?

• Naturally cost-effective locations and crew.

• Experienced film office that knows what you need – the film commission is the best source to attain permits for filming in the cities and counties; public lands and Idaho highways.

• Idaho is a land of wide-open spaces, small towns and friendly, helpful locals. It’s got something for everyone – some of the most diverse topography of all the 50 US states.

• The film office also helps production houses to find professional crews, equipment, support services, experienced location scouts and managers, unit production managers and coordinators, and production services companies with Red One, HD and film cameras; and a full spectrum of motion graphics, sound mixing and editing facilities.

IDAHO MEDIA PRODUCTION REBATE

The programme provides a 20-per cent rebate for qualifying productions on all goods and services purchased in Idaho if at least $ 200,000 is spent in the state and at least 20 per cent of crew are Idaho residents (will slide up to 30 per cent over time). Capped at $ 500,000 per production, the programme includes feature films, television pilots and episodes, documentaries and commercials.

SALES TAX REBATE ON GOODS

Idaho has a rebate of 6 per cent sales tax on tangible personal property (which excludes consumables such as food) when $ 200,000 is spent on a wide variety of qualifying expenses.

LODGING EXEMPTION

Production personnel who are staying 30 days or more in Idaho lodging facilities are totally exempt from both sales and lodging taxes, currently 8 per cent. Local option taxes levied in certain communities would also be exempt.

IDAHO’S NATURAL INCENTIVES

Idaho is naturally more cost-effective without piles of paperwork. Built-in incentives include reasonable prices on crew hires, lodging, goods and services. Permits are not required for any cities other than Coeur d’Alene but are required for Idaho’s public lands. Federally-managed public lands in Idaho include national monuments and reserves (National Park Service), national forests (US Forest Service) and lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management.

FEDERAL TAX INCENTIVE (American Jobs Creation Act)

The incentives are available to all taxpayers, including companies, as long as they pay taxes.

• Section 181 – any taxpayer, individual or company that invests in a qualifying film receives 100 per cent loss in the year or years the money is spent.

• The limit is up to $ 15 million.

• Section 199 applies to film, music, video and all other manufacturing companies. As for music, it would apply only to those who compose, manufacture, and receive income from the sale of their music. It is the same for film and video.

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