Could Tax Incentives for Filmmakers Be a Real Boon for Michigan’s Economy?
It's been years since movie makers thought of Michigan as a destination state but new legislation could mean tax incentives that would once again attract filmmakers.
Michigan lawmakers are considering two new bills that offer a base tax credit of up to 30% for all money spent to hire Michigan workers. There will be a 20% tax credit for money spent to bring workers in from out-of-state.
Both bills are being considered by committees in both the State House and Senate.
A Huge Opportunity for Michigan
Bill Latka is with the Michigan Film Industry Association Board, and he says offering filmmakers tax breaks could be a huge opportunity for Michigan.
"Producers need some important things to make a movie. They need stars that are bankable, and they need locations that are beautiful like Michigan, but they also need money," Latka tells WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids. "It's an expensive business and there are 40 other states that have film incentives and Michigan doesn't so we're missing out on all the production that's happening everywhere else."
Latka goes on to say that Michigan used to have the biggest film incentive package in the United States, but some lawmakers looked at it as a 'Hollywood handout' and ended the program.
Local Economies Can Benefit
In the video below, Latka explains that production companies spend a lot of money in the communities they visit while they're on location.
"Small businesses like hotels, florists, lumber yards, caterers, restaurants, you name it - all those different businesses are hired by movies to make them happen," Latka says.
He goes on to say incentivizing the movie industry to come to Michigan would reduce the number of college students who study the art from leaving the state after graduation.
Latka says anyone who is interested in contacting their legislators can find more information at this website.