The Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program (the Incentive) was established in 2007 in response to similar incentive programs enticing ‘runaway productions’ from Hollywood to other states and Canada. The Incentive was revised in 2009 when the Texas legislature realized that the 2007 Incentive did not generate the results originally anticipated. The Incentive is a “grant program for production companies that produce moving image projects in [the] state.”

To qualify for the Incentive, a production company must meet the following thresholds… (See link for requirements.) For the 2012 fiscal year (which runs September 1st through August 31st) and the 2013 fiscal year the legislature has allocated $15 million per fiscal year for the Incentive. Approximately $10 million in unused incentives from the 2010-2011 biennium carried over to the 2012-2013 biennium, adding to the Incentive pool for 2012-2013. This budget allocation will be shared among each of the Incentive segments; however, the legislature introduced a novel restriction to the allocated funds in the budget rider for the 2012-2013 biennium by stating that no more than 40 percent of the total allocated funds of $40 million shall be expended on one particular segment for the combined fiscal years 2012 and 2013…  From a geographic perspective, Incentive dollars are concentrated in the Dallas and Austin metropolitan areas with Dallas receiving $9,983,383 in Incentive dollars and Austin receiving $14,530,965. A vast majority of the in-state Incentive spend in Dallas is concentrated in feature film ($29,608,671 for 2012-2013 biennium through October 31, 2012) and television ($22,673,359 for 2012-2013 biennium through October 31, 2012), whereas a majority of the in-state Incentive spend in Austin is concentrated on Video games ($42,013,570 for 2012-2013 biennium through October 31, 2012).

The Incentive has been a boost to Texas feature film, television, video game commercial and education video producers. With total grants of over $26 million in the 2012-2013 biennium through October 31, 2012, the Incentive keeps the Texas moving image industry competitive with the nation’s leading incentive programs in Louisiana (up to 30 percent of in-state spend) and in Georgia (up to 30 percent of in-state spend).

Those looking to take advantage of the Incentive should contact the Texas Film Commission at (512) 463-9200 or film@governor.state.tx.us.  

Shameer A. Soni is a senior associate attorney at The Patel Law Group, PLLC practicing entertainment, technology and business law and can be reached at ssoni@patellegal.com.
https://www.dallasbar.org/content/texas-moving-image-industry-incentive-program-2012

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