One emerging trend in tax credit programs we are more frequently seeing is cities, counties and sometimes even several towns banding together to offer film tax credit programs in the wake of state programs, such as Florida’s, expiring or being discontinued. These smaller areas—such as Miami-Dade—recognize the value of such programs.
This trend alone should send a powerful message to states that these programs are wanted and valuable to the state and local economies. Minimizing the programs to a municipal level results in smaller programs, which are subject to a number of limitations regarding what productions have to do to qualify.
Film tax credits in such a diminished capacity can make a difference for small, local productions, but they won’t attract the big productions that significantly impact the local and state economy. States will continue to benefit even when the municipalities provide incentives, but the opportunity for larger gains and overall impact will only happen with statewide film tax programs.
Last year, the state of Alabama permitted its historic tax credit program to sunset, exacting enough backlash that in the 2017 legislative session a new, updated version of the program was adopted. Perhaps Miami-Dade’s adoption of local tax incentives will demonstrate to the state of Florida that there is much to be gained from innovative incentive programs.
Although these programs sometimes need adjustments and modification to make the program fit the state’s evolving needs, there is no doubt that these programs bring value and serve an important purpose in supporting state economies.