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States debate rebate fate: Are tax incentives in trouble?

States debate rebate fate: Are tax incentives in trouble?

With state economies in turmoil, tax incentives for film and TV production are becoming the latest political football in the battle to bolster local fortunes. In Michigan, which has the most aggressive rebate in the country (up to 42%), debate is heating up after a report issued last week cast doubts about the economic benefits of the state’s program. Released by the nonpartisan Senate Fiscal Agency, the issue paper concluded, “The state will never be able to make the credit ‘pay for itself’ from a state revenue standpoint.”

The report sent ripples throughout the industry, and observers are looking closely at the Michigan situation to see whether that state’s incentives and other similar programs across the country–which are crucial to most independent film budgets–could be in jeopardy.

State Senator Nancy Cassis believes Michigan’s lawmakers “will make some attempt to modify the credit and make it more responsible.”

If you can get past the Variety firewall, you can read my entire report at: http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118024623.html.

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