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.[69] The Michigan Film Office and the Film Incentive program are discussed at greater length later in this study.


[69] "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).