Incentive programs for film and TV production

Across the country, some states have increased spending taxpayer dollars to lure television and film productions. The result is a fierce competition among states that offer incentives, including New York, California, Georgia and Louisiana. Other states like Florida, Wisconsin and Michigan have done away with their programs, concluding the tax breaks weren't producing enough of a return on investment.

The USA Today Network surveyed every state in the nation on its film-incentive program and created the first national database that shows how much each film and show received in tax breaks and incentives. Thirty-five states allocate more than $1.3 billion a year in tax breaks to films and television shows, but the review found limited public information in some states about their programs, but also found big bucks shelled out at a time when a record number of television shows and movies being made in the U.S.

Each state has different criteria and definitions for their film incentive programs. Five states refused to disclose data related to their programs: Georgia, Hawaii, Maine, New Mexico, and West Virginia. Sixteen states have discontinued or otherwise do not have an incentive program: (Alaska, Arizona , Delaware, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, Wisconsin)
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