Texas Business Report: Film Fund May Be Slashed

Tightening the budget means the Lege may reduce film incentive spending by nearly $30 million, a decision that could end up costing millions in economic impact.
Fri February 8, 2013 9:15 pm

The Texas economy is one of the most robust in the world. Wildly profitable companies and ingenious entrepreneurs call this state home, and what happens here influences businesses around the nation. Here’s a slice of the profits, losses, big deals, and backroom decisions happening across Texas this week.

Film Fund Farewell?

As state legislators seek out ways to trim the fat from the 2013–2014 budget, proponents of the Texas Film Commission’s incentive program are speaking up to keep its funding intact. The Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program—which offers tax breaks to Texas-based film, TV, video game and advertising productions that hire predominantly local crews—“currently receives $32 million in state funding, and the TFC wants that amount increased to $35 million,” according to the Austin Business Journal.

However, the new budget proposed by the House and Senate allocates just $4.2 million to be shared by the TFC and the Texas Music Office—none of which would go toward incentives.

The Bottom Line: The TMIIIP has awarded $94 million in incentives since it was created in 2007, which “has led to $744 million of direct spending in Texas, a return of $7 for every dollar invested,” the ABJ reports. The fund has supported projects such as TNT’s TV series Dallas, which spent $20 million in the state. 

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