The Gainesville Sun | October 13, 2008
LOS ANGELES — Already on the hook for billions to bail out Wall Street, taxpayers are also finding themselves stuck with a growing tab for state programs intended to increase local film production.
Michigan, its own budget sagging, is in the middle of a hot political fight over a generous 40 percent rebate on expenditures to filmmakers that was carried out, with little opposition, only last April. Producers of films for studios like Warner Brothers and the Weinstein Company rushed to cash in, just as homegrown businesses were squeezed by a new business tax and surcharge. Rebellious legislators from both parties are now looking to put a cap on the state’s annual film spending, which some have estimated could quickly hit $200 million a year.