EP NowStoreAcademySupportCommunityProducts by Country
Newsroom Home

'Yellowstone’ Pushes Texas to Up the Ante to Court Film and TV Projects

New Mexico, Louisiana and Oklahoma in 2022 saw more than $1.5 billion from film and TV productions. Texas could've seen some of that money if not for its middling production incentive program.
March 27, 2023

As seen on Hollywood Reporter

For studios, the best part about shooting in New Mexico might be how it looks so much like Texas.

That’s why Taylor Sheridan’s Hell or Hell High Water chose to shoot in New Mexico, as did Walker: Independence, King Rex and other projects looking for generous helpings of tax incentives to film in the state on top of desert valleys and wooded mountains mimicking Texas.

Texas is flanked by states known for offering robust tax credits to lure film and TV productions. The entertainment industry in 2022 pumped more than $1.5 billion into the economies of New Mexico, Louisiana and Oklahoma, much of it for titles set in Texas but unable to shoot in the state due to its middling incentive program. Now, lawmakers are looking to court Hollywood. A bill introduced in the state legislature on March 7 proposes to supplement Texas’ existing grant program with a new, uncapped scheme targeted at big-budget projects of at least $15 million.

The proposal, if passed, would launch the state into the upper echelon of jurisdictions that offer film and TV tax credits. It comes as Southern states continue to amend and improve their film and TV tax credit programs in the fight to host productions.

New Mexico, armed with refundable tax credits of 25 to 35 percent, has quickly become known as a production hub after hosting Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul and Stranger Things. A bill introduced in February proposes to double the uplift for filming in rural areas to 10 percent and adjust the cap on the ceiling of the program by $10 million a year to keep up with industry growth and inflation.

Netflix and NBCUniversal have both built production studios in New Mexico, committing $2 billion and $500 million, respectively, to produce content in the state over the next ten years. California-based 828 Productions will join them after it constructs a new full-service film and production shop.

Oklahoma and Louisiana have also garnered reputations as attractive filming destinations in their own rights. Louisiana is one of just a handful of states with a nine figure cap on its program, offering a base 30 percent tax credit with a generous project cap of $20 million.

Texas’ stiffest competition, if the bill is passed, would come from Georgia, which has already cemented itself as a premier filming destination. After flirting this year with a proposal that would’ve capped its incentive program, the state in 2023 doled out a record $1.3 billion in tax credits to productions.

It appears that there’s more of an appetite to augment the Texas’ film and TV tax incentive program on both sides of the aisle than in years past when similar efforts grounded in resistance to giving Hollywood tax breaks flopped. Rep. Four Price, an Amarillo Republican who authored the bill, says there’s “growing interest in content production” in the state.

Under the proposal, the transferable tax credit starts at 30 percent of a production company’s in-state spending, not including wages, and could reach as high as 42.5 percent depending on uplifts. Twenty percent of wages for non-Texas residents and 35 percent of wages to Texas residents qualify. On uplifts, there’s a 10 percent add-on for episodic TV series of three or more episodes with proof of distribution, a 2.5 percent bump if a production spends at least 25 percent of the project’s filming days in an economically distressed area and a 3 percent increase for post-production spending in the state.

The perception on tax credits in Texas is changing, at least in part due to Taylor Sheridan’s Yellowstone, which shot in Venus. The series reinvigorated the sleepy town’s economy with tourist dollars and other spending that comes with a production, including catering, lodging and transportation.

Fort Worth could be the epicenter of Hollywood in Texas. The city just miles from Dallas could be home to the expanding Sheridan-verse, seven Texas-centric shows either airing or in development from the Fort Worth-native.

In February, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said: “My goal is for Taylor to move all of his TV and movie production to Texas. Working together, I think we can get it done.” (Presumably this would include Sheridan’s 6666, an upcoming Paramount+ series set at a Texas cattle ranch.) That same month, Mansfield officials approved a $70 million studio development project that will include soundstage clusters to host medium to large-scale productions.

“What they’re doing is responding to the industry,” says Joe Chianese, senior vp and practice leader at Entertainment Partners, a Los Angeles-based group that advises companies and state film offices on how to set up and structure tax incentive programs. “If you want productions to come, you have to work with their budgets.”

Related Content

Production Incentives Update: December 2023

12/20/2023
Notable dates and modifications to production incentive programs in California, India and Spain.
More
Film crew on location filming outdoors

Production Incentives Update: September 2023

9/27/2023
Insights on recent changes to production incentive programs in D.C., Kentucky, Montana, Ohio and Ontario.
BBS-Radio-TV-logo

The Cathy Durant Show: Featuring John Hadity

11/9/2023
Cathy interviews guest, John Hadity, EVP of Incentive Operations who oversees the film financing...

Production Incentives Update: October 2023

10/26/2023
Learn about recent legislation changes boosting tax incentives in Colorado, Florida, Virginia and ...

Minnesota Becomes Land of 10,000 Opportunities with New Incentive Launch

9/29/2023
Minnesota introduces a new tax incentive program to renew the state’s status as a dynamic location for...
Georgia Incentives Panel_sq

GA Incentives Insider: Your Questions Answered

9/27/2023
Brian Shanaghan, Audits Manager at the Georgia Department of Revenue (GA DOR), addresses the industry's...
Expert Advice_Sam Collett

Spotlight: Sam Collett, UK Production Accounting and Incentives Expert

9/19/2023
Meet the Senior Partner at FLB Accountants, an Entertainment Partners company specializing in UK media and...
Master Series_UK Incentives Panel_Square

What's Changing in UK Production Incentives

9/15/2023
Learn about the recent changes to the UK Creative Sector Tax Credits and how they might impact your next...
EP Blog_SQUARE_UK cultural test

Understanding the UK Cultural Test

9/12/2023
Find out whether your film or TV show will pass the UK’s Cultural Test, a key step in qualifying for the...
Master Series Australia Offset Square Thumbnail

Discover All About Australia's Location Offset

8/30/2023
Australia's Location Offset rebate skyrocketed from 16.5% to 30%! Learn about the requirements and how...
Jane Corden, Managing Director, Australia and New Zealand

Spotlight: Jane Corden, Managing Director, Australia & New Zealand Operations

8/29/2023
Meet the Australian production accounting and tax incentives expert who is helping EP invest in the future...

Production Incentives Update: August 2023

8/25/2023
Recent changes to production incentive programs across the US and Thailand.

Production Incentives Update: July 2023

7/31/2023
Lights, Camera, Incentives! Exploring the recent changes to Film Incentive Programs across the world.
Blog_SQUARE_NY Diversity Incentive

New York Takes Steps to Promote Diversity in Film, Television and Commercial Production

6/20/2023
New legislation in the empire state aims to require production companies to report diversity hiring data,...
Four panelists discuss co-production-square

Unlocking the Myths and Benefits of Co-Production

2/15/2024
Learn the difference between an official co-production and PSA, and how to leverage these opportunities to...

Do the Math: Production Accountant Shortage Equals New Hollywood Careers

1/17/2024
“Accounting is usually not the way in” to the film business, says Nancy Rae Stone of the California Film...
Big Ben, London

5 Things to Consider Before Transitioning to the UK’s New AVEC Regime

1/16/2024
A comprehensive overview to help determine if you should use the UK’s new incentive regime to fund your...
Camera man filming on a snowy mountain in the winter-sq

Production Incentives Update: November 2023

11/28/2023
Your guide to recent production incentive changes in Connecticut, Minnesota, New York and Japan.

Minnesota: Land of 10,000 Opportunities

11/17/2023
Learn about Minnesota's new incentive program, dynamic locations, strategies for boosting crew training...

Regional Success: Why Small UK Hubs Aren’t Afraid of Big Productions

11/7/2023
Learn about the stunning natural scenery, historic architecture and film-friendly incentive schemes that...
Master Series Thumbnail Square UK Productions

UK Production: Sites, Services and Studios

10/20/2023
Learn about UK incentives, infrastructure and production innovation spanning from London to Wales,...
Entertainment Partners Logo Thumbnail-square

NFTS and Entertainment Partners (EP) Establish Partnership to Support the Future of Film and Television Production

10/5/2023
By supporting the National Film and Television School through this new partnership, Entertainment Partners...
Newsroom-Advanced-Television-Logo-Thumbnail

NFTS, Entertainment Partners establish partnership

10/5/2023
EP the entertainment payroll and production technology company joins as a prominent new Patron of the...
British-Cinematographer-Logo-Thumbnail

NFTS and Entertainment Partners (EP) establish partnership

10/5/2023
The National Film and Television School (NFTS) announces a new partnership with Entertainment Partners...
EP Blog_SQUARE_EP Paymasters

Meet the Paymasters

9/5/2023
This National Payroll Week we celebrate the hard-working payroll professionals behind Hollywood's...

USC, Entertainment Partners Expand Collaboration for Film Student Programs

8/28/2023
An expanded partnership will offer Trojan cinema students support including scholarships, training...
Entertainment Partners Logo Thumbnail-square

Entertainment Partners and USC School of Cinematic Arts Announce Expanded Partnership

8/28/2023
Expanded partnership aims to provide essential resources, education and opportunities to support the next...
EP_SQUARE_HMRC Answers

HMRC Answers Key Questions on New UK Audio-Visual Expenditure Credit

8/22/2023
UK Creative Sector Department weighs in on the interpretation of some of the new legislation and guidance...
Master Series US Incentives 2023 Square Thumbnail

US Film Incentives Changing in 2023

7/27/2023
Learn about incentive changes in NY, NM, LA and more, and how Entertainment Partners can help your...
EP Blog_SQUARE_Changes to UK Tax Credit

Preparing for the Upcoming Changes to the UK Creative Sector Tax Credits

7/25/2023
Understanding the UK's Audio-Visual Expenditure Credit (AVEC), Video Games Expenditure Credit (VGEC), and...

Meet the Director

6/27/2023
A conversation with Brian Dannelly ('Saved,' 'Pushing Daisies,' 'Queer as Folk')

What Expenditure Qualifies for UK Film Tax Relief?

6/21/2023
Find out what constitutes qualifying expenditure under the UK Film Tax Relief.

Transforming Canadian Production Through Leading Background Casting Technology

6/1/2023
Background casting in Canada is set to be transformed by EP's Casting Portal, the only end-to-end solution...

Payroll & Finances

PayrollResidualsSmartStartSmartTimeProduction PortalEP On LocationSmartAccountingEP LiveSmartPOCASHétPayPaymaster Rate GuideEP Residency

Manage Multiple Productions

AssetHubSmartHub

Additional Services

Academy
Subscribe now

Be an industry insider with EP's
newsletters and alerts

LegalPrivacy NoticeSecurity
© 2024 Entertainment Partners. All rights reserved.