MPAA: TV and film excellent return on investment for Florida taxpayers

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Florida is more than ready for its close-up.

The film and television industries have been highly profitable for Florida’s economy, according to a study commissioned by the Motion Picture Association of America.

For every $1 in state tax credits issued to film and entertainment production, between $5.6 and $20.5 in sales taxes come back — in film-induced tourism by people who first watched movies or a TV series filmed in the Sunshine State.

The March 2013 research, performed by the MPAA through business advisory firm MNP LLP, used data from a survey by Visit Florida, the state’s tourism authority. Researchers began by assuming there would be about 5 percent of visitors who came to the state after seeing a show on TV or watching movies made here.

They were off — by a lot.

What the MPAA found that as much as 22.7 percent of “leisure visitors” to Florida, or about 19.5 percent of all visitors, said that seeing a movie or television series filmed in Florida was “extremely important” or “very important” in their decision to travel to the state.

Florida film and TV tax return

Calculating tax credits to television and film production that choose Florida, the MPAA estimated tax revenues that come in from visitors influenced by shows filmed in the state.

Two distinct scenarios come out from the survey, both of them fantastic news for Florida taxpayers.

At the low end, the original premise of 5 percent of visitors influenced by film and television would result in $5.6 dollars for every dollar.

Florida film and TV tax return

On the other hand, adjusting for the number of people who actually said TV and film swayed their decision to come to Florida, returns skyrocket — to $20.5 for every dollar spent in tax credits.

Business success comes from one key metric — return on investment. Imagine if someone said, “for every dollar you give me, you will get back $20.” You wouldn’t hesitate, right?  

That’s what they call a good return on investment.

Researchers also took into account a two-year lag time between when the credit goes to producers, and when the money comes back to the state.

But one thing is clear; making movies in Florida is a hugely rewarding business — for both filmmakers and taxpayers.

 

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.