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City Arts Department Proposes Increasing Film Incentive So San Antonio Can Actually Compete.


The Texas Legislature was not a friend to filmmakers last year when it slashed $32 million from an incentive program that's meant to lure movie producers to the Lone Star State. The decision hit San Antonio's motion picture economy hard because the city's film incentive, which is the most generous in the state, is tied to that state funding. This complicated matters for the city, which was already struggling to attract movie producers. "Up until 2007, we had about a dozen films made here every year," Department for Culture and Creative Development Interim Director Debbie Sittre told City Council members on Wednesday. "So we were doing very well." The Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program was established in 2007 to help the Texas compete with states like Georgia and New Mexico, which were seeing a boon in movies being shot there, sucking business away from Texas because of better financial incentives. New Mexico, for instance, which funded their incentive programs through a 25 percent income tax rebate that caused producers to flock to the state, resulted in a $3 billion economic impact there. Texas does not have an income tax, and funding in the state's incentive program is reliant on general budget funding, which can be shaky, at best, for the arts.

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