Tax Incentive Cuts Impacting Texas Film Industry

By Alex Stockwell

AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas film industry is feeling the effects of budget cuts on the state’s film incentive program.

After funding was slashed by two-thirds, other states are now giving Texas a run for its money.

Last year, Texas lawmakers cut the budget down from $95 million to just $32 million.

The decrease was backed by newly elected representatives who did not favor government-funded incentives.

The film industry is now losing production work and the revenue that comes with it to other states.

Austin-based director Robert Rodriguez relocated his show “From Dusk Til Dawn” to New Mexico after two seasons because of better tax rebates.

Those in the business say shows and films bring a large sum of money to the state.

“The Lying Game, I think they did an estimate was spending a million dollars an episode, and they shot 32 episodes. That’s $32 million being pumped in to the local economy, and that benefits restaurants and hotels and electricians and carpenters, besides crew and cast people. So it’s a major benefit for the city and for the state,” said Mike Blizzard, of the Austin Film Society.

Filmmakers and actors say they are working to educate and convince lawmakers of the need for a strong film incentive program in Texas.

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