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Friday, 10 July 2015 15:13

Snyder signs bill eliminating Michigan’s film credits

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Gov. Rick Snyder today signed legislation eliminating Michigan’s controversial film incentives.

While the state will continue to operate a film office to assist productions that choose to shoot in Michigan, it will no longer provide any kind of tax incentives — whether through a credit or a rebate — as it has since 2008.

House Bill 4122, now Public Act 117 of 2015, was sponsored by Rep. Dan Lauwers, R-Brockway.

The new law “prohibits the film office and the Michigan Strategic Fund from providing funding under a new agreement or increasing funding under an existing agreement for film production expenditures. The bill also requires all money remaining for the cash rebate program revert back to the state’s General Fund once all payments from existing agreements are made,” according to a statement.

According to a report in the Detroit Free Press, the Michigan Film Office will remain open to administer outstanding contracts, which could take up to three years.

Michigan created its film incentive program in the wake of the economic downturn as a means to draw a new industry to the state. The results were mixed, at best, according to sources.

When the state offered a 42-percent tax credit from 2008 to 2011, an average of 41 productions per year were shot in the state, as MiBiz previously reported. In 2012, Snyder replaced the credit with a rebate system capped at $25 million, which was later increased to $50 million for 2013 and 2014.

However, the number of productions dwindled significantly, with 17 productions in 2012, 21 films in 2013 and 27 shoots last year.

“Money doesn’t like uncertainty,” said Joe Voss, senior counsel at Clark Hill PLC in Grand Rapids-based who works with clients in the entertainment business, for a previous MiBiz report. “When there’s a lot of tinkering, it’s hard for productions to keep it all straight.”

Read 1821 times Last modified on Tuesday, 21 July 2015 10:09

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