Miami-Dade Creates $10-Million-A-Year Film Incentives Jackpot

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The Miami-Dade County Commission accepted René García’s stepped-up campaign to lure movies and TV shows to the county, approving a 49-page resolution Tuesday calling for annual incentives of up to $10 million with the creation of a Miami-Dade High Impact Film Fund Program.

The county’s robust film industry went into decline in the past decade after the state discontinued its film incentives program, with films and industry professionals leaving the state for areas with higher incentives. The county subsequently created smaller incentives for lower-budget productions, an incentive scheduled to continue as the new larger-film program takes hold.

Mayor Daniella Levine Cava’s budget included $2.5 million for the new fund in the approved $11.7 billion 2023-2024 budget. “It’s not enough,” Sen. García told Miami Today. “It’s not even close.” His plan now goes to Mayor Levine Cava for review.

Among the evidence Sen. García offers is the total value of incentives available elsewhere in areas similar in population to Miami-Dade’s 2.8 million residents:

  • $20 million in Mississippi, where the state’s population is 2.9 million.
  • $38 million in Puerto Rico, where the population is 3.2 million.
  • $160 million in New Mexico, where the state’s population is 2.1 million.

The program would have a minimum of $5 million in incentives, up to $10 million per fiscal year, to “attract major studio productions with budgets ranging from $4 million to $8 million per TV episode, or an estimated $50 million for motion pictures,” the resolution states.

The revenue highway, however, is not a one-way street, Commissioner García states in his resolution. The fund he proposes, the resolution says, would:

  • Create up to 1,500 high-wage jobs across Miami-Dade County.
  • Support local small businesses such as lodging, transportation, equipment rentals and more.
  • Increase local spending on goods and services throughout Miami-Dade County.
  • Increase investment in local infrastructure such as studios, soundstages, and production facilities.
  • Boost tourism by attracting fans interested in experiences places seen on the screen.
  • Nurture local talent by creating a skilled workforce for the creative and technological sectors.

Productions granted a rebate under the new fund “must spend at least $10 for every $1 the county spends toward the rebate, the resolution states, “generating … at least $50 million per fiscal year.” Given current conversations with the industry, the county’s Office of Film and Entertainment expects the entire funding to be utilized every fiscal year, the resolution documents state.

The film industry has a long history in Miami-Dade County. One of the earliest is “The Jungle Trail,” filmed in 1919 at the Hindu Temple in the Spring Garden neighborhood. The Beatles’ second live appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show was filmed in Miami Beach.

“The film and television industry continues to grow as the entertainment sector expands,” Sen. García’s resolution adds.

“Miami-Dade County … is home to 200 production companies, multiple soundstages and recording studios,” the resolution states, and “three Spanish-language production facilities.”

Source:  Miami Today