Three Senate committee referrals have been set for SB 1606 – legislation introduced last week by Senator Annette Taddeo (D – District 40, Miami) to establish the Florida Motion Picture Capital Corporation and jumpstart film production in our state. Representatives David Silvers (D – District 87, Palm Beach) and Joe Gruters (R – District 73, Sarasota) are co-prime sponsors of the House companion bill, HB 341.
In the upper chamber, the legislation must first be heard by the Senate Committee on Commerce and Tourism, which approved the 2016 version of this bill last year, before passing before the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development and ultimately the full Appropriations Committee.
We are working now to build bi-partisan support in the Senate and schedule meetings with committee members prior to the scheduling of public hearings.
Among related developments, film incentives programs in several other states are coming increasingly under the legislative microscope, being either cut back or potentially eliminated as most recently in West Virginia (here). Whether due to questions over economic impact, as in the Mountain State, or ideological opposition to the fundamental concept of incentives, as in the Carolinas, Louisiana and Texas, more and more states are anticipated to dramatically reduce their reliance on tax credit incentives programs to attract motion picture production in the years immediately ahead.
While Americans for Prosperity yesterday wrongly categorized SB 1606 and HB 341 as “a new film incentives program” and consequently something to be vigorously opposed (here), COMPASS projects that by being first to offer a viable alternate business model not based on tax dollar giveaways, Florida will also be first in line to capitalize on the accelerating decline of the incentives stratagem nationwide.