The Michigan Film Office, which employs the equivalent of six full-time workers, received an official appropriation of $731,600 in fiscal 2009. The relatively small size of the appropriation, however, masks the MFO's newfound influence. In 2008, the state began the Michigan Film Incentive, a program that provides refundable credits against the Michigan business tax for qualifying film companies that do business in Michigan. The "refundability" of the credits means state government sends a check for the difference between a company's Michigan business tax liability and its refund whenever the refund exceeds the liability.
According to a Michigan Film Office report to legislators in March 2009, the program awarded $48 million in tax credits in 2008. The Michigan Film Office and the Film Incentive program are discussed at greater length later in this study.
 "Michigan Film Office 2008 Annual Report," (Michigan Film Office, 2008), http://www.filmmacomb.org/documents/MFO_2008_Annual_ Report_269261_7.pdf (accessed July 14, 2009).