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Film industry supporters won't give up fight for incentives

One bill that failed to make it across the finish line this year sought to expand the state's entertainment industry tax incentive program.

The proposal was a top priority for both South Florida and Tampa Bay. Lawmakers from both regions argued it had the potential to pump millions of dollars into the state economy.

The Senate was considering a plan to add $300 million in tax credits over the next six years. 

Rep. Manny Diaz, Jr., R-Hialeah, pitched a far more expansive proposal in the lower chamber. But it never managed to take off. Later, the House included a Qualified Television Loan Fund in its proposed tax cut package. The Senate eliminated the provision on the second-to-last day of session.

On Saturday, Film Florida President Leah Sokolowsky said she was disappointed in the outcome of the session.

"Beginning tomorrow, Film Florida will rededicate itself to educating our state’s policymakers on the positive economic impacts that the entertainment industry provides," she said in a statement. "We will bring our message from the Panhandle to Key West that for every $1 the state invests in the entertainment industry, $5.60 is returned and infused back into our state’s economy."

In other words, expect the bill to be back next year.