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Florida House Unanimously Passes Game Tax Breaks

The Florida House of Representatives this week unanimously passed a bill that will boost existing state tax breaks for the entertainment industry, including video game development, with a 112-0 vote.
The Florida House of Representatives this week unanimously passed a bill that will boost existing state tax breaks for the entertainment industry, including video game development, with a 112-0 vote. If passed into law, the bill (HB 697) will raise tax credits on in-state spending for "qualified productions" from 15 percent to 20 percent. A supplementary 5 percent credit is available to projects produced during the June to November "off season" period, and a further 5 percent is available to "family-friendly productions." The bill defines family-friendly productions as those that, by determination of the Commissioner of Film and Entertainment, are suitable or children age 5 and older and "do not exhibit or imply any act of smoking, sex, nudity, gratuitous violence, or vulgar or profane language." A previous draft of the bill excluded all productions that did not fit these criteria, but that requirement drew fire and was replaced with the secondary credit. While the discussion of the bill in the Florida House has largely centered around attracting the film industry, all of its core tenets apply equally to video games. It was sponsored by Rep. Stephen Precourt (R) and Sen. Mike Haridopolos (R).

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