Florida To Increase Tax Credits For Movie Production Despite Uncertain Returns

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The Florida legislature plans to increase tax credits for movies and TV production, Florida Watchdog reports.

The bipartisan bill wants to extend until 2021 various measures like a 25-percent tax credit for production expenditures, a 20-percent tax credit for filming in underutilized counties and the obligation to have at least 70 percent of supporting employees (excluding writers, producers and actors) to be native Floridians.

“Under this new legislation, we will get more bang for fewer bucks,” claims Republican state Sen. Nancy Detert, who sponsors the bill, which receives support from entertainment interest groups.

She also added that the program needed more money forthwith as the appropriated money, voted until 2016, has already been spent — all $296 million.

A recent study by the Florida Legislature Office of Economic and Demographic Research shows that Floridians don’t get that much bang for their bucks.

At best, they get back $0.43 for every dollar granted to movie and TV production. By comparison, the legislative research service estimates that the state gets $3.2 back for every dollar spent in tourist advertisement.

“As a matter of principle, any economic development project ought to generate net positive revenue for the state,” Sam Staley, an economist and director of Florida State University’s DeVoe L. Moore Center, told Florida Watchdog.

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