Texas lawmakers sign $50 million for film incentives.
Texas Gov. Greg About signed the state’s approximate $250 billion budget over the weekend, bringing a session-long effort to focus on the state legislature’s top financial priorities including the state’s film industry.
According to reports, lawmakers have set aside $50 million in funding for the state’s film incentives program. Lawmakers appropriated $50 million for the Moving Image Industry Incentive Program. The program gives productions the opportunity to receive a cash grant based on how much they spend in Texas, including eligible wages paid to the state’s employees.
“There’s already been rumblings,” Mindy Raymond, communications director for the Texas Motion Picture Alliance, told MyHighPlains.com. “The interest has always been there for Texas, but now it’s ramped up even more because it’s giving those productions that may not have looked at Texas an opportunity to say, ‘Hey, I can come here and actually shoot my T.V. series or my film, bring my company here and get a little bit of money back from the state.’”
Funding for the program has changed over the years. A decade ago, the legislature set aside $62 million. In 2013, lawmakers set aside $95 million for the program.
“There’s a direct correlation between how much money is appropriated for our incentive program versus how much money is spent in the state,” she said. “So when we did have that higher appropriation of $95 million, there was a huge jump in the in-state spending in Texas. It was astronomical.”
This news comes after NBCUniversal vowed to invest $500 million in Albuquerque, New Mexico’s film industry.
NBCUniversal expects to hire 330 full-time, year-round production workers in Albuquerque over the next ten years with a mission of adding $500 million in direct production spending into Albuquerque’s economy.
“NBCUniversal has enjoyed a longstanding and productive relationship with New Mexico and Albuquerque, and we are grateful for the opportunity to expand our presence in this community,” said Dawn Olmstead, president of Universal Content Productions and Wilshire Studios, and Pearlena Igbokwe, president of Universal Television. “We are thankful for the support of Gov. Lujan Grisham, Mayor Keller and their economic development teams that have helped make our long-term investment in Albuquerque a reality.”