Texas - Incentives Offered to Companies
In this study, we found that the incentives that Texas has in place to attract an interactive entertainment company that might want to relocate or expand in the country include Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program, Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF), and Creative Content Incentive Program. Below is a detailed explanation of our findings.
TEXAS MOVING INDUSTRY INCENTIVE PROGRAM (VIDEO GAME PROJECTS)
On the official website of the government of Texas, there are video game projects in the Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program. This means that the accepted video game projects can receive an incentive payment up to 22.5%, eligible of Texas spending. Companies that aim to make a new project in Texas can apply for the program. To be qualified for the incentive program, there should be a minimum eligible Texas spending amounting to $100,000. The production days of at least 60% need to be done in Texas, while the remaining 40% can be done outside of Texas. At least 70% of all the number of paid employees and contract laborers should be residents of Texas. Aside from the minimum requirements and content review previously mentioned, the Texas Film Commission will investigate the qualifying application according to the probable degree of the economic impact of the video game project in Texas. Verification process should be accomplished within 60 days and final verifying documentation should be submitted to the Texas Film Commission in either hard copy or soft copy.
TEXAS ENTERPRISE FUND (TEF)
TEF awards are granted to companies that aim to start new projects where one site Texas site competes with other out-of-state sites. It is a financial incentive for companies that start projects that contribute significant capital investment and provide new employment opportunities to Texas’ economy. For companies that aim to make new projects or expand businesses with relevant job creation and capital investment in one site in Texas where Texas is competing with at least one viable out-of-state site, some requirements have to be fulfilled.
First, the projects should provide new job creation of more than 75 full-time jobs in urban areas or 25 full-time jobs in rural areas. The site used for the project must be actively competing with at least one out-of-state site, and the company must not have made a decision regarding location. The total average wage for new jobs must at least meet the average wage in Texas, and the company should be financially capable and have some capital investment on the state. The evidence that TEFs are aimed towards the video game industry was when Texas Governor Greg Abbott only reserved $22 million for film and video game incentives below the governor’s original request of $72 million over the coming two-year budget cycle.
CREATIVE CONTENT INCENTIVE PROGRAM
The Creative Content Incentive Program was updated on March 14, 2019. A city in Texas, Austin, provides incentives to interactive entertainment companies including video game because projects involving visual effects are equal to 0.50% of paid wages to local workers. These projects can be developed by Austin companies or other companies. Though not necessarily Austin-based, these companies significantly promote Austin and would be eligible for additional 0.25% incentive for a total incentive of 0.75%. To qualify for a project, the company must put a thank you note for Austin government for the support. It also has to be an approved applicant for Texas film commission under film/video game project. Lastly, the company must pay union wages to all workers and make sure that all workers are provided with benefits with at least $11 every hour.