Second thoughts for film incentives

23Sep09

State governments in the US are finally realizing that tax incentives for filmmaking in their state may not be exactly the cashflow bonanza they had hoped.

“We are still not sure what exactly our tax dollars are being spent on with these films,” said Republican state Sen. Mark Jansen”

Some states offer nearly 50% of a single film’s expenditures in their state back in tax incentives. So, what that really means is that half of what a film is spending locally – labor, goods, and services – is being given back (to then be spent wherever the film and its crew are usually located).

It does beg a few questions:

Are film companies more likely to film in your state if you have tax incentives? (As opposed to say, a historically relevant location, or the right climate, etc.)

Does the state benefit – in profit, labor, etc – by giving these incentives?

Would investing in local or regional media industries result in a similar short- and/or long-term result?

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One Response to “Second thoughts for film incentives”

  1. 1 mediaorganizations

    Your questions are excellent. There’s one I think I can answer.

    >>>Are film companies more likely to film in your state if you have tax incentives? (As opposed to say, a historically relevant location, or the right climate, etc.)<<<

    Yes. Yes, they are. Or maybe a better way to put it is that without them, a film co is definitely more unlikely to shoot in your state.

    Ask me in class tomorrow for an absolutely crazy example of incentives drawing a production to Michigan.

    Brian


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