Florida Bar Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Section Supports Passage of Film and Entertainment Industry Tax Credit Bills

The Florida Bar Entertainment Arts and Sports Law (EASL) Section has written a letter to State Representatives urging passage of The Film and Entertainment Industry Tax Credit Bills HB697 and SB 1430. 

Orlando, Fla. – April 12, 2010 – The Special Committee on Legislative Affairs of the Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law (EASL) Section of the Florida Bar, with support of over 900 members statewide, has written a letter to members of the Florida State Legislature advocating passage of The Film and Entertainment Industry Tax Credit Bills. These bills are HB 697 and SB 1430, now incorporated into SB 1752.  The following is an excerpt from the letter, touting the economic advantages of attracting the film and entertainment industry the state of Florida:

This bill creates a film and digital media tax credit that has a proven record of attracting and growing the industry in New York, New Mexico, Louisiana, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Illinois where similar legislation has been passed. A recent study by the Haas Center for Business Research and Economic Development underscored the need for and effectiveness of these tax credits:


·      In 2008, every one dollar of film incentives was associated with twenty-two dollars of additional gross State product, and an additional one dollar and forty-four cents in additional tax revenue.

·      A high-impact feature film or television show spends on average $225,000 per day while on location in the State of Florida.

·      For every one dollar invested in TV and Digital Media Tax Incentives, production companies first spend about seven dollars on Florida wages, goods and services.

·      For every one dollar spent by a production company in Florida, the State sees an additional ninety-five cents in related economic impact.

This is a true performance-based tax credit, in which all the investment occurs before a credit is issued. Florida is assured all the money remains in the state as only a Florida taxpayer can use the credit making it revenue neutral. The tax credit is only generated if dollars are spent in Florida. The proposal allows Florida to retain and create more high-wage jobs by attracting production spending immediately, while avoiding any fiscal hit in the upcoming budget. 


The members of the EASL Legislative Affairs Committee are urging support from the following Bill Committee members of the Florida legislature:


·      CommerceChair – Rudy Garcia, Vice Chair – Dan Gelber, Victor D. Crist, Nancy C. Detert, Charlie Justice, Evelyn J. Lynn, Steve Oelrich, Durell Peaden, Jr.,  Nan H. Rich, Eleanor Sobel


·      Finance and TaxChair – Thad Altman, Vice Chair – Charlie Justice, Michael S. “Mike” Bennett, Jeremy Ring, Rhonda Storms, 


·      Transportation and Economic Development Appropriations

Chair – Senator Mike Fasano, Vice Chair – Anthony C. “Tony” Hill, Sr., Alex Diaz de la Portilla, Paula Dockery, Andy Gardiner, Christopher L. “Chris” Smith 


·      Policy & Steering Committee on Ways and MeansChair – JD Alexander, Vice Chair – Ted Deutch, Thad Altman,  Carey Baker, Michael S. “Mike” Bennett, Victor D. Crist, Mike Fasano, Don Gaetz, Rudy Garcia, Dan Gelber, Mike Haridopolos, Anthony C. “Tony” Hill, Sr., Charlie Justice, Alfred “All” Lawson, Jr., Evelyn J. Lynn, Joe Negron, Durell Peaden, Jr., Nan H. Rich, Gary Siplin, Eleanor Sobel, John Thrasher, J. Alex Villalobos, Frederica S. Wilson, Stephen R. Wise 


Other excerpts from the letter include:


Florida once ranked third in film and television production, behind California and New York. Today Florida would not even make the top ten. The legacy of this past is that Florida still retains the third largest trained, professional entertainment industry workforce in the country, as well as a significant infrastructure of soundstages and post-production facilities, both existing and planned. There would be no need to import the entire crew from another State, a primary selling point over locales like New Mexico or Illinois. Add to this the full time weather advantage Florida enjoys over locales like Michigan or Toronto, and the potential for a booming industry is already here, waiting to be tapped.


Florida already is a tourist destination for millions, based in large part on two huge theme parks featuring, ironically enough, characters and events from motion pictures and television shows.  These films and television shows could be produced and filmed here, but are not. In addition to the jobs created by film and TV production, Florida has the potential to capitalize on the film and TV industry’s inherent ability to showcase our beautiful natural scenery of oceans, beaches and historic sites, from Seaside (The Truman Show) to Key West (Running Scared) to Micanopy (Doc Hollywood) to Vizcaya (Ace Ventura) to Lake Worth (Body Heat) to Miami (Up in the Air) and all points in between. Every fly-over of Miami’s skyline and azure blue waters on a show like “Burn Notice” has the potential to generate a telephone call from someone living up north in the dead of winter to their travel agent for a Florida vacation. Add to this that Film and TV production is a green industry, with no negative environmental effects, and the bills are surely a big “win” for jobs, for tourism, for everyone. 


The EASL Legislative Affairs Committee consists of the following members:

Nina-Dawne Williams, Stephen M. Carlisle, Ms. Emily P. Graham, Charlotte Towne, Thomas Player, Nick Nanton, and Chrissie Scelsi

The Florida Bar Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Section (EASL) provides a forum for members to share in the technical and legal knowledge which relates to the entertainment, arts and sports law industries, and to provide a standard and goal setting mechanism to improve the practice of entertainment, arts and sports law by Florida lawyers. 

For more information about EASL, please visit http://www.EASL.info


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