The Michigan Film Office Advisory Council met last Friday to lambaste Gov. Rick Snyder over his proposal to restructure the state’s film incentives and cap the expense at $25 million, essentially making a direct lobby for the industry. The state should not sponsor its own industry interest group.
The advisory council is different from the Michigan Film Office itself. The film office administers the state’s tax incentive, while the advisory council was meant to promote it. But, considering that there are already many industry groups with an interest in seeing that this incentive is used, there is little advantage to keeping a state-run group.
Limiting or eliminating the film incentive is ultimately needed. The film industry is a mercenary business. During the meeting, advisory council members remarked that the governor had killed state film projects simply because he has announced that he supports capping the incentive at $25 million.
This is working at cross-purposes with efforts to reform the film incentive. The administration believes that the film incentive should be reigned in, but the council is adamantly opposed. Instead of trying to develop ways to put the designated $25 million to best use, the council used their Friday meeting to draft a resolution to opposing the governor’s new policy.
While there is little expense for operating this group — members are not compensated and only receive reimbursement for necessary costs — the state should not provide a platform that is being used to oppose its policies. The Michigan Film Office Advisory Council should be dissolved.
A video with excerpts of statements made by council members at the meeting is available here.