Backers of film and video game productions in Texas are pushing legislators to earmark $60 million or more this year to boost the state’s entertainment industry.
The Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program has seen its funding sharply decline to $32 million over the current two-year budget cycle, down from the $95 million in the 2014-2015 cycle. The taxpayer-funded incentive program continues to face opposition from Republican lawmakers, having narrowly survived an attempt to end the rebates for qualifying productions in 2017, the Austin American-Statesman reported .
The drop in funding has led several big productions to leave Texas, while the state competes with similar efforts in New Mexico, Louisiana and Georgia. According to the Texas Film Commission, about 55 productions were funded through the incentive program during the current budget cycle, compared to 290 in the 2014-2015 period.