Florida lawmaker calls for $2M in rebates to lure back film industry

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State Sen. Joe Gruters’ modest film production proposal comes just years after state lawmakers killed off a successful movie production incentive program. And that state lawmakers have sought to doom funding for the state’s tourism and corporate relocation efforts.

It’s not an incentive program, an influential state lawmaker said Saturday, it’s a rebate program to rebuild Florida’s film industry with a taxpayer price tag of $2 million.

“It’s for the purpose of continuing to try to rebuild a program that has been decimated over the years because sunshine and low taxes aren’t enough for us to go out and capture some of these jobs,” said state Sen. Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota, who is also head of the Florida Republican Party.

The Senate tourism and commerce committee chairman said film and TV production jobs pay an average of $85,000, and those jobs should be going to Florida film graduates.

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