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Luring filmmakers with tax incentives

Stacey Vanek Smith Apr 14, 2008
A TV camera taping iStockPhoto.com


Renita Jablonski: City governments and states are looking for ways to bring in extra revenue during this downturn and so… Lights, camera, tax incentives. New York’s state legislature just tripled its tax credits for films and TV productions. And plenty of other places are looking to turn up their star power.
Stacey Vanek-Smith has more.

Stacey Vanek-Smith: Last year, film production brought $9 billion into New York and created 60,000 jobs. With the economy cooling, states like Rhode Island, Michigan and South Carolina are hoping to get a piece of the action as well. They’ve offered millions tax credits and other incentives to lure filmmakers. But there’s another big reason states are making the big pitch now, says Porter Bibb, with Media Tech Capital Partners.

Porter Bibb: They’ve seen some vulnerability in productions that were over the last 10 or 15 years going mainly to Canada. But the Canadian dollar’s increase against the U.S. dollar has made that a significantly less attractive production site.

But incentives can be risky. Bibb points out that South Carolina has spent millions subsidizing payroll taxes and building a back lot and studio, but the moviemakers didn’t come. And Rhode Island is blaming part of its multi-million dollar budget deficit on incentives it gave to movies.

I’m Stacey Vanek-Smith for Marketplace.

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