April 29, 2009
A bill that would establish tax-free “media production development zones” to help bring more film business to Texas was approved today by the Texas Senate.
State Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, the author of the measure, said the goal of the program is to help develop the production infrastructure that will bring more movie, film and video-game projects to the Lone Star State.
Austin is among several cities that could benefit.
Senate Bill 1929 will allow for the establishment of 10 production-development zones in Texas. In each zone, specific sites would be designated for a limited abatement of sales taxes from purchases of equipment and other infrastructure that could help bring additional film production business to the state.
Businesses such as sound stages and production centers would be among the businesses that could qualify, Watson said.
Supporters said the idea is this: If sales taxes are abated on equipment needed to draw additional film and movie projects to Texas, the amounts of money that those projects would spend in Texas would more than cover the cost of those abatements.
“This will help the state develop the infrastructure that’s necessary to bring in the additional film business,” Watson said. “This goes hand in hand with the film incentives grants we passed earlier.
Senate Finance Chairman Steve Ogden, R-Bryan, gave the measure a ringing endorsement: “It’s a pretty good idea.”
The bill was then approved. Unanimously.
It now goes to the House for consideration.