How Would You Spend an Extra $130?

Film incentive programs take from everyone to give to a few

In a recent interview with Michigan Capitol Confidential, Brandeis University economist Bob Tannenwald remarked that film incentives were a bad deal for taxpayers.

"Another way to look at that would be that a state might be getting only 50 cents or 75 cents value for each dollar per dollar of personal income created by the program for the state’s residents. A state might be better off just sending the checks out directly to its residents rather than creating the program."

With roughly $500 million offered in incentives from the start of the program to present, the state could have sent $130 checks to every household in Michigan. Add another $13 for each year state policymakers put $50 million of tax money in the film incentive budget.

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