Hollywood Is Coming To Texas

A bill introduced in the state legislature proposes to supplement Texas’ existing grant program with a new, uncapped scheme targeted at big-budget projects of at least $15 million, which could bring Hollywood to Texas.

Texas is mulling whether to throw a bigger hat into the film and TV tax incentive ring.

A bill introduced in the state legislature proposes to supplement Texas’ existing grant program with a new, uncapped scheme targeted at big-budget projects of at least $15 million. Eligible productions would get a 30 percent base transferable tax credit that could reach as high as 42.5 percent, depending on the type of project and if it shoots in economically distressed areas. Notably, compensation for talent will qualify for incentives.

The legislation introduced Tuesday is being considered as Texas’ neighboring states continue to see major money from Hollywood due to generous tax credit programs. In 2022, film and TV productions pumped more than $1.5 billion into the economies of New Mexico, Louisiana and Oklahoma. New Mexico alone saw a record $855 million. Now, Texas wants a larger piece of the action. The proposal, if passed, would launch the state into the upper tier of jurisdictions that offer film and TV tax credits, at least for mid-budget and blockbuster projects.

It appears that there’s more enthusiasm to augment the state’s film and TV tax incentive program on both sides of the aisle than in years past when there was strong resistance grounded in refusing to give tax breaks to productions creating content Texans may find objectionable. Rep. Four Price, an Amarillo Republican who authored the bill, says there’s “growing interest in content production” in the state.

“This is an industry we can do better,” he says. “There’s a lot of appetite here for film production in particular.”

Under the proposal, the tax credit starts at 30 percent of a production company’s in-state spending, not including wages. Twenty percent of wages for non-Texas residents and 35 percent of wages to Texas residents qualify.

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