Good News Coming To Texas-Based Animation Studios, Film-makers And Game Developers!
Thank the Texas Legislature for the good news coming to Texas-based animation studios, film-makers and game developers! The Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program (TMIIIP) is getting an unprecedented financial boost over the next two years. The money available for that program will triple, jumping to $95 million. The angel on the shoulder of the program, Representative Dawnna Dukes (D-Austin) says that animators, film-makers and game developers have hotel owners to thank.
Are you a Hotel owner?
The reason the TMIIIP exists is to keep Texas competitive with other states that offer film-producing incentives. It has historically been limited by small cash reserves, though. Lawmakers cut the program’s budget two years ago, to $32 million. Over the weekend, when they passed Texas’ biennial budget, investment in the incentives had risen to a new high. The negotiations were complex, according to Dukes. When the house started to run the numbers, she proposed only $22 million for 2014-15, saying that she took “a conservative approach because we knew there were so many conservatives.”
However, the Senate was already considering raising the fund to pre-cut 2009 levels, but even raising it slightly to $70 million. When the House and Senate concluded negotiations, the figure rested at $95 million.
Dukes credited her fellow lawmakers and the Texas Motion Picture Association for comprehending the value of the program. She also said, though, that key to the high figure was the Texas Hotel and Lodging Association, which lobbied lawmakers to allocate the $68 million generated by the Hotel Occupancy Tax. Dukes said “Having film production in Texas created heads in bed, and therefore they felt that it was in their best interest to put up a small percentage of the tax.”
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