Texas lawmakers threaten to abolish Film Commission

Mar 15, 2017

Texas state Sen. Bob Hall has proposed abolishing the Texas Film Commission and its incentives program.
Credit Ralph Barrera / Austin American-Statesman

Texas Legislators held a hearing this week to debate abolishing the Texas Film Commission, which some lawmakers have referred to as a form of corporate welfare.

As The Austin American Statesman reports, Texas currently budgets about $32 million in tax incentives to attract the movie industry to Texas. That’s down substantially from almost $100 million two years ago.

Two dozen advocates for the entertainment industry testified during the hearing that cutting the program would cause Texas to relinquish its place as a hotbed for creativity.

But residents of West Texas might be forgiven for asking where all that money is going. The recent blockbuster Logan had scenes set in West Texas, but the movie was filmed in New Mexico. That’s also the case with Best-Picture nominee Hell or High Water and Best-Picture winner No Country for Old Men: Both set in West Texas, both filmed in New Mexico. If Austin decides to keep the program, the potential certainly exists for movie crews to head out to the High Plains.