Senate bill filed to help Florida TV production

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A Florida Senate motion filed Thursday seeks to strengthen the state’s television and film-production industry.

Sen. Aaron Bean filed SB 1438, known as the “Qualified Television Loan Fund,” that sets up a 10-year $20 million trust within the state’s Department of Economic Opportunity for the development of private, made-for-TV content produced in Florida.

The fund would provide loans for production companies creating content for major networks, cable channels or Internet streaming.

If passed, the DEO would hire a fund administrator to allocate the funds based on a number of criteria including” creditworthiness of the project, the producer’s track record, (and) the possibility that the project will encourage, enhance, or create economic benefits.”

The proposal follows other measures in the Legislature to extend tax incentives for bringing filmmakers to Florida.

One House bill HB 983 gives up to $1 billion in tax credits to attract film and television production in Florida, and the Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee is considering SPB 7056, to offer $300 million in tax credits. Each proposal would be spread out over six years.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.