The United States of Savings

How Texas' incentives stack up

The Texas Film Commission crunched the numbers to compare what kind of incentives each state offers for a $20 million production. Of the country's filmmaking hubs, Texas came in dead last.


Total Return: $8 million

Income Tax Credit:

• 40% cash rebate, across the board, on Michigan expenditures, with a spending threshold of $50,000.

• Add 2% if filmed in Michigan core community.

• Capped at $2 million salary per employee counted in project's expenses, including out-of-state workforce.

• Labor and crew: 40-42% resident, 30% nonresident.

New York

Total Return: $6-7 million

Refundable Tax Credit:

• 30% of eligible production expenditures including payroll.

• Production must film at least 75% of total stage work on a qualified NY soundstage.

• Funded at $60 million per year until 2012.

• NYC provides additional 5% tax credit up to $30 million annually for filming in NYC.

• Separate fund of $42 million for commercial producers provides same 10% credit without soundstage qualification.


Total Return: $6 million

Business Tax Credit:

• 30% for qualified digital media and motion picture production expenses (including pre- and post-) incurred in Connecticut.

• Must exceed $50,000 in spending to qualify. Includes goods, services, and labor.

• Credits are transferable and carry forward for three years.

• No annual or per-production cap.

New Mexico

Total Return: $5 million

Refundable Tax Credit:

• 25% of eligible New Mexico production and postproduction costs including wages.

• Must choose income-tax credit or sales-tax exemption for each expenditure.

• 50% reimbursement of wages for on-the-job training of New Mexico in advance below-the-line crew.

Film Investment Program:

• Interest-free loans/equity investment up to $15 million per project.


Total Return: $5 million

Tax Credit:

• 25% of total production expenditures (including payroll, except portion of any salary over $1 million) for projects spending at least $300,000 in Louisiana.

• Credits are transferable and can be carried forward for 10 years.

Labor Tax Credit:

• Payroll to Louisiana residents receives an additional 10% credit.


Total Return: $1 million

Motion Image Industry Incentive Program:

• 5% grant of in-state production expenditures, including wages paid to Texans.

  • More of the Story

  • Abandoning the Nest

    Hurt by the state's inadequate incentives program, Texas film crews take flight

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