Originally posted on The Orlando Political Observer website from Frank Torres:
John Lux, is a the Chief Operating Officer for the IDEAS media and experience design company, who’s headquarters is here, in downtown Orlando. IDEAS employs up to 50 Central Floridians, and has film program graduates, from colleges around the state. The projects his company handles stretch from right here in Florida, to Europe, and as far as Shangai, China.
Like many of his colleagues, Lux is on a mission this year, promoting a Film, TV & Digital Media Tax Credit Program, they say will fuel and industry that employs 100,000 Floridians, and pays them an average wage of more than $70,000 a year. He himself has already met with Central Florida State Delegation, and participated on a panel that spoke to legislators in Tallahassee last month.
Lux has support here locally. State Representative Mike Miller (R-Winter Park) has sponsored a companion bill to the main legislation currently moving through the Senate, his colleague Rep. Rene Plasencia (R-Orlando) supports the bill, and is hopeful for what it can for film programs at the University of Central Florida, and Full Sail University, which are both located in his 49th district.
There is opposition to the measure. Americans for Prosperity has target any legislation that would provide incentives to the Film Industry, as well as subsidies for sports stadiums. A radio ad running says “Hollywood Executives and Billionaire Sports Team Owners have plenty of fans in Tallahassee your state legislators want to build stadiums and make movies with taxpayer money. It’ time to end government handouts to hollywood producers and sports stadium base stealers.”
“We respect everyone’s right to their own opinion, but the facts are clear that the tax credit program creates high-skill, high-wage jobs for Floridians.” Lux says “The tax credit program is performance based and is fiscally responsible so it’s a sound investment for Florida. The program is tax credit based, it ONLY gives tax credits for money spent on Florida businesses or Florida residents. And the tax credits are administered AFTER projects are completed and audited for 2 separate entities.”
Lux also stresses that these incentives stretch beyond people working on sets and in studios. His company uses 30 vendors for products and services that benefit thousands of their employees, who will never step in front of a camera.
Both sides are ramping up for a legislative battle, but there could be some middle ground. Lux is hopeful and says even opponents can recognize the benefits of a vibrant film industry in the state.
“Even our critics admit there is nothing wrong with the film industry becoming a bigger part of the Florida economy, through business friendly tax policies and modest but effective regulations, and that’s exactly what we’re trying to accomplish.”
Click HERE to read the article on The Orlando Political Observer website.