Will Incentives for Filming in the State of Texas Increase?

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Even though art programs in the United States are seeing major cuts, Dan Patrick says he wants filming to continue in the Lone Star State. “I am disappointed that we are not the film capital of the United States…We’re going to fund it,” Texas Monthy quotes Patrick who spoke at The Contemporary in Austin.

But if the funding can’t reach a high level, neither will the “incentive.” When the Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program was well funded, it reached $95 million, but it’s been cut down to $32 million, and some lawmakers want to see it slashed even more. It’s also important to note that the program is more of a rebate, not an outright incentive. If the Texas Film Commission deems the film inappropriate once it’s completed, they can reject a rebate of any kind.

As the Star-Telegram points out, “[Texas] has almost every type of ‘look’ for locations, sprawling amounts of empty land, hot spots for both crew and talent and a major film festival…” so if lawmakers are able to agree on funding a program, the filmmakers (and video game and TV show creators) will come.

It doesn’t appear that a quick or easy agreement will be made in Texas. Some argue that the money would be better spent elsewhere, while others say that surrounding states are taking movies away from Texas due to their wealthier incentive programs.