Written by Tom Deehan on Mar 20, 2017. Posted in Incentive News

Texas lawmaker proposes abolishing the state film commission and tax incentive

Both the Texas Film Commission and state film incentive could be brought to an end after Senator Bob Hall proposed the notion at a legislative hearing last week. The Senator expressed his dismay with the organisation and the grant it disperses, stating that: “it is not the proper role of government to be meddling with the free-market system.”

As a tax-payer funded initiative, the Texas Moving Image Programme offers a grant of up to 22.5% for productions that film and incur a required minimum expenditure within the state.

Seantor, Bob Hall, Texas, Film, Movie, Industry, Incentive, Programme, Legislature, News, Song to Song, Terrence Malick, Locations, Ryan Gosling, Michael Fassbender, Rooney MaraJohn Moore, of production company Rooster Teeth, noted the irony of wanting to dissemble the incentive while the South by Southwest film festival was taking place concurrently with the hearing. Moore testified in favour of keeping the incentive, alongside several other local creatives who attended the session.

The Texas incentive is notable for being one of the few worldwide that extends to commercials productions. An expenditure of USD100,000 is required to access the incentive, which only goes as high as 12.5% for commercials.

The incentive programme has allowed Texas to remain fairly competitive on the locations market, but the state has seen a decline in activity ever since funding for the scheme was cut in 2016.

A total of USD95 million was delegated to the incentive during the 2014-15 period, dropping to USD32 million in the current two year cycle. The state recently hosted filming on Terrence Malick’s upcoming film, Song to Song, and Austin is featured regularly on the television drama, American Crime.

The Senate Committee will now decide whether or not to present the bill to the full Senate, where the bill will have an opportunity to be written into law.


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