The End of Hollywood Corporate Welfare?

Legislators look to fix budget overspending

Some legislators have introduced fiscally sound ideas to fix Michigan’s projected deficit. The budget hole was created by select tax credits largely approved by a previous Legislature with Gov. Jennifer Granholm.

State Rep. Sam Singh, D-East Lansing, told MIRS News (subscription required) that the Legislature may want to scale back funding for the Michigan Economic Development Corp. to deal with the problem.

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"I think it's time this Legislature really takes a look at the MEDC budget and reign it in because it's creating significant problems and deficits for the state of Michigan," Rep. Singh told MIRS.

State Rep. Dan Lauwers, R-Brockway, just introduced legislation that would end film production subsidies in Michigan to help make up the deficit.

Rep. Lauwers told MIRS that he introduced House Bill 4122 because, "If it requires us to pay them in order to have that industry, how are we going to be able to build a successful industry? My business had to survive on the merits of the business."

The bill is referred to the Tax Policy Committee chaired by Rep. Jeff Farrington, R-Utica. Rep. Farrington has previously referred to the program as a “boondoggle” and told MIRS he is favorable to the proposed legislation.

A former state tax credit program, the Michigan Economic Growth Authority, had only 2.3 percent of its projects meet job projections. The MEDC as a whole has has fewer film jobs today than it did when the program began in 2008. Film incentives are widely panned by independent researchers of all political stripes.

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