News & Such

Let’s Not Do What Michigan Did


I was just reading this article: "Raleigh Michigan Studios to Default on $18 Million in Bonds By Wednesday" and it reminded me how lucky we are here in Georgia.

In 2011 Michigan lost their film tax incentive. The TV Series "Detroit 1-8-7" was cancelled shortly after. Executive Producer David Zabel explained “finances don’t make sense especially with things the way they are in Michigan,” referring to the state governor’s proposal to change a program that offered some of the most generous film tax credits in the nation."

And that was just because of the proposal to change. There was a two-thirds drop in the number of applications to film in Michigan during the second half of 2011, compared to the period one year earlier. It's hard to say how many films they lost out on but one for sure is Iron Man 3 which had a budget of $102 million. Those movie folks are a skittish bunch.

Michigan now has a new tax subsidy for film that they are promoting. It's unfortunate that the state couldn't have avoided the "interruption" of tax incentives. It'll take some work to get back where they were. My Irish brick mason ancestors helped build Detroit so I feel a certain bond with the city and would love to see it get the economic boost that film productions bring.

Here in Georgia the generous tax incentive created in 2008 for TV and film has made us one of the top 5 states for production. Last year there was talk of Georgia losing the tax incentive but thanks to groups like the Georgia Production Partnership and to a very supportive Film Office and Governor the incentives were left untouched.

Between July 2010 - June 2011 the economic impact of the 327 Georgia-made films, TV projects, commercials & music videos was $2.4 billion! There's a group of folks who are going to make sure that 2012 is the year we bring some of that Hollywood-style economic development to Athens!


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