Committees hear testimony on Richardville film industry legislation
LANSING-The Michigan Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee and House Commerce Committee today held a joint hearing to consider a plan of incentives to reel the film industry into Michigan, said Sen. Randy Richardville, co-sponsor of the legislation.
"The film industry could have a significant impact on our state's struggling economy," said Richardville, R-Monroe. "While so many other industries are declining, it continues to grow and prosper. Bringing movie producers to Michigan could provide a significant economic boost for our state."
The 16-bill bipartisan plan will use six different types of incentives to entice filmmakers to produce more movies in Michigan. The incentives will also apply to television shows, commercials, documentaries, mini-series, video games, Internet programming, and music videos.
Richardville sponsored a measure that will allow taxpayers to deduct gains from investments in production companies. To qualify for the deduction, the gain must be reinvested in another company, and that company must produce a new film within two years.
"I strongly support offering incentives to attract the entertainment industry to our state," Richardville said. "With its vast array of natural resources, Michigan could provide a number of different settings. We have a lot to offer moviemakers and television producers. Increasing tax credits for production costs is a great way to get them to come here."
According to industry standards, between 50-60 percent of a film's production budget is spent on location. Filmmakers depend heavily on local services, such as hotels, restaurants, grocery stores, gas stations, dry cleaners, office supply stores, lumber yards, and so forth. A study by Virginia Commonwealth University suggests that the return for every dollar given in incentives is $14.30 back into the economy.
Several filmmakers, actors and individuals associated with the industry, including Jeff Daniels and Detroit Free Press columnist Mitch Albom, testified in support of the package.
The bills will remain in committee for additional review and testimony.
Editor's note: A photograph of Sen. Richardville with Mitch Albom, who testified before the committee, is available on the Senate Majority Photowire, located at: http://www.MISenateGOP.com/photowire/Index.htm.
Posted: Wednesday, March 05, 2008
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