Gov. Rick Snyder Signs Bill Ending Film Subsidies

State has granted over $450 million in corporate welfare for the movie industry since 2008

Friday, July 10, 2015

Contact: Dan Armstrong, 989-698-1917

MIDLAND – Today Gov. Rick Snyder signed into law a bill eliminating Michigan’s film industry subsidies. Since its implementation in 2008, the state’s film office has appropriated more than $450 million in incentives in an attempt to bring more Hollywood business to Michigan.

The Mackinac Center has opposed the film subsidy program since its implementation, and has conducted research proving it to be ineffective at growing the economy. While there have been several movies made in Michigan, today there are fewer film jobs in the state than there were before the incentives were passed.

“Scholars across the spectrum agree that subsidizing filmmaking is a waste of taxpayer dollars,” said James Hohman, assistant director of fiscal policy at the Mackinac Center. “We applaud Michigan legislators and the Governor for eliminating this program.”

Film subsidies initially passed with near-unanimous, bipartisan support that has slowly eroded over the years as taxpayers became more aware of the enormous payouts going to the industry. A poll conducted in May of this year found that 66 percent of likely voters favored redirecting the money spent on film subsidies to road repair.

Michigan is not the only state to try attracting the interest of the film industry through subsidies; 44 states have experimented with subsidy programs. In recent years, some of those states have eliminated their incentives.