AUSTIN -- Today State Representative Dawnna Dukes (Austin) passed on final reading by a vote of 139 ayes-6 nays, House Bill 873 to enhance the Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program. The highly anticipated first bill of the legislative session to reach the floor of the Texas House of Representatives, House Bill 873 encountered little opposition and less discussion.
"It is clear members of the Texas House of Representatives understand the important role of the Texas moving image industry in creating jobs, building the economy and fostering the development of the creative arts industry, Dukes said. "House Bill 873 will strengthen our program and make us more competitive".
Currently, Texas pales in comparison to most states in terms of the size of incentives offered with its program only allowing up to a 5 percent rebate while the nationwide median is a 25 percent tax credit. This situa¬tion is compounded by the fact that states such as Michigan, Massachusetts, New York and Louisiana recently increased their incentives significantly – roughly five to nine times the amount that Texas offers. New Mexico and Louisiana, states that routinely stand-in for the varying landscapes of Texas, both offer 25 percent tax credit programs that have great success luring filmmakers to their states.
Although, Texas has been a major location for feature and independent film production, television programming, commercials and video games, its filmmaking activity has slowed as producers have opted instead to film on location in Louisiana, New Mexico and Michigan because of their fiercely competitive financial enticements. Since 2003 Texas has lost $552 million and 7100 jobs in the film industry.
"House Bill 873 is a win-win solution for Texas. It will keep producers coming to Texas, keep existing movie crews based in Texas and boost video game production in our state, helping to stimulate our slowing economy, said Rep. Dukes.
In 2007, the Texas Legislature enacted the Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program that offers cash grants equal to 5 percent of qualified in-state spending on feature films, documentaries, television programs, commercials and video games. The Texas Legislature has authorized up to $10 million for fiscal 2008 and another $10 million for fiscal 2009.
Contact: Pamela McPeters (512)463-0506