Friday, May 31, 2013

Keeping Michigan's movie incentive program at $50M

From M-Live, keeping the Michigan film incentive at 50M is on track. As for me, I can't agree more. It does create jobs and inspite of our govenor, the program works. 


Keeping Michigan's movie incentive program at $50M 'right thing to do,' lawmakers say


filmincentives.jpgMichigan's film incentive program is set to remain at $50 million next fiscal year. 
LANSING, MI - Rep. Tim Greimel – leader of the Democratic caucus in the Michigan House – says negatives outweigh positives in the state’s next budget plan. That’s why he voted against a broad state budget bill this week.
But even Greimel finds some things to like in the $49.5 billion plan that the Republican-led Legislature is approving for the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1. Chief among them: the agreement to keep Michigan’s movie and film incentive program funded at its current $50 million.
“It’s not that there’s nothing good in this budget. There are indeed some positive elements here,” Greimel said this week, singling out the film incentive money in particular. Greimel, D-Auburn Hills, said it is a “proven method and incentive that creates thousands of jobs across our state while diversifying our economy.”
Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, R-Monroe, said keeping the film incentive funding in place was “the right thing to do” and will help develop the industry’s workforce by keeping the flow of projects consistent.
“I think that was a good piece of the overall budget,” Richardville said. “It’s not every day you get a chance to attract sometimes worldwide attention and keep young people in an exciting industry. So even beyond just the pure economic return, I think there a lot of other reasons why it was important.”
Michael Bay’s "Transformers 4" project is among those recently approved for film incentives in the state.
Related: Some details of Michigan's $49.5B budget plan
The Senate will vote on the broad, multi-department budget bill that includes the incentive money – House Bill 4328 -- next week. The House approved the bill this week.
Another budget bill – House Bill 4228, which outlines education spending – has won final legislative approval and should soon be headed to Gov. Rick Snyder.
Michigan once had one of the nation’s most aggressive film incentive programs, but that has been more limited in recent years.
Earlier this year, Snyder had proposed limiting the program to $25 million for next fiscal year. A preliminary version of the budget in the House would have cut the program more than that. But legislative leaders and the Snyder administration agreed as part of budget negotiations to stick with the $50 million level.
Supporters of the program say changes have been made in recent years aimed at making sure more of the incentive money comes back to or stays with the Michigan economy.
Email Tim Martin at Follow him on Twitter: @TimMartinMI