Texas, Nevada Make Big Plays for More Hollywood Business

As a fan of Stephen King’s massive tales of societal collapse and the aftermath (“The Stand” and “Under the Dome”), I was excited for the debut of “Under the Dome” on CBS but equally apprehensive, given past TV treatments of his work. But so far “Under the Dome” has been excellent, and I recently read a piece about life on the set.

In the article, writer Richard Rushfield mentions the flip-flopping history of movie and television tax credits in North Carolina, where the Maine-based series has been filmed. And that made me wonder what other states have been doing this year to entice Hollywood studios. (Sorry for the long set-up.)

The majority of states offer tax and rebate incentives to attract the movie and TV industries, and the Motion Picture Association of America has a handy chart describing each program. But it has not been updated for all the 2013 activity. For example, the Nevada Legislature passed legislation this year appropriating $20 million in tax incentives for producing movies, TV or online series, and video games in the Silver State. Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) signed the bill last month.

Nevada was among a handful of Southwestern states to enact new film enticements this year: New Mexico’s law went into effect in April, and Texas increased its pot of Hollywood incentives from $32 million to $95 million.

A similar, but more modest, increase was authorized in Oregon, where a tax credits bill bumped the film subsidies from $6 million to $10 million. (Maybe TNT will bring back “Leverage” now.)

And then we return to North Carolina, where lawmakers once again have attempted to end tax incentives for the TV and movie industries. But that bill appears to be going nowhere. Opponents of Hollywood incentives argue the film and TV industry should not be singled out for tax breaks that only create short-term jobs.