Monday, January 12, 2009

The Michigan Film Incentive: The Scene and the Unseen - Act 1

The Mackinac Center - January 12, 2009

There’s a lot of news right now about a purported 3,500 new movie industry jobs that could be on the way to metro Detroit. The jobs are attributed to the state government’s generous film incentive program. The program is the state’s marquee response to a prolonged economic malaise, in which the state has lost more than a half million jobs since the year 2000.

When movies are filmed in Michigan, the studios have to pay Michigan business taxes. Under this program though, state government will give filmmakers a refund check for up to 42 percent of the money they spend in Michigan. That means a movie company that spends $10 million in Michigan could get a check for more than $4 million. That’s even after the film companies pay their own taxes.

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