We want to get the word out to all our out-of-state and Florida-based production companies and remind you to take advantage of the Entertainment Industry Sales Tax Exemption Program. This program helps companies of all sizes, including small and minority owned businesses, with a point of sale tax exemption on production related expenditures for companies producing content in Florida. Qualified Florida expenditures eligible under this program include production equipment rental or purchase, real estate rental (studio, office, location fees), set design and construction, props, wardrobe, and computer and software (production related). Companies can apply online at filminflorida.com.
This is money saved and an exemption that many of us are not taking advantage of. The financial benefit to companies in our industry provides an immediate cost savings allowing for the ability to hire more people, purchase more capital, or expand into larger spaces. This is an important benefit that we strongly encourage our Florida companies to take advantage of. Out-of-state production companies that you may be dealing with that have come here because of our great weather, locations, and experienced crews may not know of this economic benefit available to them. Do them a favor and alert them.
If you are a Film Commissioner, add it to your film permit. If you are part of the crew that is hired, ask your employer if they have the sales tax exemption. We are the voice of the industry so let’s work together to make sure that any benefit, both local or state, is understood by all. If you have any questions how this Sales Tax Exemption Program works, do not hesitate to call our Executive Director John Lux at 407-494-6195 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Background: Since the program was instituted in 2001 under then Florida Governor Jeb Bush, thousands of companies have benefited from the Entertainment Industry Sales Tax Exemption Program. The Florida Office of Film & Entertainment (OFE) administers the program and approved 836 applications during fiscal year 2015-2016, resulting in an estimated 38,082 Florida jobs and $1.14 billion in Florida expenditures. In 2016, the average annual wage for workers in the film and entertainment industry was $78,866 exceeding the state’s 2016 average annual wage for all industries of $47,060 by 67.6%.
If you are not already a member of Film Florida, we encourage you to join our organization. We are a state-wide not-for-profit entertainment production trade association that serves a leadership role in Florida’s film, TV, production and digital media/tech industry by representing all aspects of the business including film commissions, industry, labor, associations and education. Click HERE to learn more about our membership packages. We hope you’ll join the organization and be an active partner in solidifying Florida’s position as a major production destination, a positive economic development driver and a tourism generator.