The Legislature is expected to adopt a budget deal this week that includes doubling the amount of money set aside to subsidize making movies, TV shows, and commercials in Michigan.
The new budget would double the film incentives from $25 million dollars to $50 million. That’s still less than half of what the state gave up in tax revenue at the height of the subsidies that drew movie, TV, and video projects to the state. Governor Rick Snyder scaled back the incentives, saying their value was unproven.
But state Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville says the incentives help improve Michigan’s economy and its image. He says some of the benefits of the film-making incentives are hard to measure.
“I’ve visited with people that have changed their careers, moved here from New Jersey and other places,” he says. “There’s an excitement about making films and the way that we’ve been losing people and the image that Michigan has had – especially some of our more urban areas – I think that this kind of excitement about our state is good in more ways than just economic.”
Richardville pushed for the boost, and says he hopes worthy film, TV, and commercial productions might qualify for specific appropriations in future budgets.
“If we have a real good project where we can prove an economic return, that a standalone supplemental or something along those lines would be considered,” he says.
That’s on top of the money the state’s already set aside for film incentives.