Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Florida Lawmakers Looking to Increase Tax Credit

HB 697 and its Senate companion SB 1430, titled the Entertainment Industry Economic Development Act, would increase production-related rebate eligibility from 15% to 20% and increases the cap on credit funding in a given year from $10 million to $75 million, a figure based on similar deals in five other states. This incentive would be based on tax returns from the following year, ensuring that no money was awarded without corresponding investment.

According to Film Florida, investments in film and television production are returned have a return of nearly 50% in tax revenue and a 22-to-1 return in gross state product. According to 2007 estimates, approximately 102,000 Floridians are directly hired by the film and television industry each year, with an average annual salary around $57,000; another 105,000 Floridians are hired in industry-related occupations such as security, transportation and the service industries.

HB 697 and SB 1430 are currently in the House Economic Development Policy Committee and the Senate Ways and Means Committee, respectively. The legislative history and progress of both bills can be tracked through the State House of Representatives website.

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