LANSING – State Representative Leslie Love (D-Detroit) expressed her disapproval for House Bill 4122 passing the House yesterday by a 58-51 vote. HB 4122 would end the film incentives the state currently offers. Love joins the chorus of supporters for the film incentives, who see it as a valuable tool to diversify the economy and create jobs.
“As a former educator for performance art, I know how important these incentives are to advance a creative economy and create jobs,” Love said. “I cannot believe that we are ending such a valuable tool while we continue to offer huge tax breaks and sweet heart deals to already profitable corporations.”
The House’s vote to eliminate the film incentives comes within the shadow of a multimillion dollar deficit, caused by four years of being overly generous to wealthy corporations. In 2011, the Legislature gave an 83 percent tax cut to corporations, regardless of their size or wealth. To pay for it, they increased taxes on Michigan seniors and families while cutting school funding. This year, a deficit caused by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation giving huge tax breaks to major businesses pushed the Republican-led government to further cut services, divert money that should have gone to the classroom and now cut a valuable tax incentive for a young and growing industry.
The incentives have proven to be an effective tool for job creation in Michigan, as we have seen major motion pictures being filmed in the state, such as the upcoming movie “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.” A 2011 Ernst and Young study highlighted that for every dollar we spend in film incentives, we get $6 back in economic activity.
“These incentives have allowed us to display Michigan to the rest of the world as a place of natural beauty, unmatched work ethic and creative spirit,” said Love. “Ending this program instead of reviewing the special treatment we give to wealthy corporations is just going to shoot us in the foot.”