Lack of tax incentives sends Hollywood packing to Georgia

Winter Park's Miller ready to bring incentives, jobs back

WINTER PARK, Fla. - In the blink of a fiscal year, Florida went from Hollywood production star to a no-name extra.

[WEB EXTRA: Hollywood Connection ]

The $269 million in tax credits scheduled to be available to television and film companies from 2010 to 2016 ran out much faster than anyone had anticipated, sending crews to tax-friendly Georgia and Louisiana.

In Georgia, the economic impact from film and television productions like "The Walking Dead" and Oscar nominated "Selma" delivered $ 5.1 billion including nearly $4 billion in paychecks to residents last year.

John Lux, chief operating officer for Orlando-based IDEAS, a state-of-the-art production house, says Florida is losing out on "billions of dollars" in trickle down revenue.

"It's not just that industry that benefits," Lux said. "It's ancillary industries like restaurants and hotels and the dry cleaner down the street that can get involved with a television series and film."

State Rep. Mike Miller, R- Winter Park, agrees.

Miller is crafting a bill to bring those tax incentives back this year.

The freshman lawmaker told Local 6 his bill would mandate long term projects in exchange for tax incentives and what Miller has dubbed "performance based "television projects.

" You actually have to deliver it before you get a tax credit Miller says, "so we are performance based with an episodic goal of doing it year over year so people can stay raise their family and live here."

Miller says the Bill would call for $49 million dollars in tax incentives for fiscal year 2015 but if the budget allows he would be open to raising that threshold.

State Senator Nancy Detert R-Venice, proposed a gradual $50 million dollar a year addendum that would have kicked in last year and continue through 2020.

It didn't make it into the state's final budget sheet.

A similar proposal on the House side failed as well.

Michael Jordan directed the Forensic Files series including 30 episodes in Orlando.
Jordan says he moved to the Orlando area with his wife anticipated plenty of work on film and TV projects.

Last year he says he ended up traveling to Georgia for production work.
Miller says he anticipates support on both sides of the aisle.

He hopes the tax incentive bill will keep professionals like Jordan in the state.

The 60-day regular legislative session begins March 3, 2015.

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