A news service for the people of Michigan from the Mackinac Center for Public Policy

The Hollywood big budget adaptation of Rock’em Sock’em Robots, Real Steel, hits theaters this Friday. This is one of the many movies filmed in Michigan and supported by Michigan tax dollars through the state film incentive program, which unfairly singles out films for special grants from the taxpayer. If you disagree with this incentive, feel free to ask for a $4.26 discount on your ticket for this movie — it’s approximately what the state spent on it per taxpayer.

The incentive gives the film producers up-to 42 percent refundable tax credit of whatever they spend in the state — essentially the state treasury writing checks to movie makers.

Real Steel is expected to claim an $18.3 million refundable tax credit. With 4.4 million people filing an individual income tax return in Michigan, this amounts to $4.26 per taxpayer.

Michigan’s film incentive program is expiring in January 2012, but will be replaced with a direct $25 million expenditure. If Michigan is still in the business of awarding tax money to film producers, residents that disagree with this expense should at least get a discount in lieu of repeal.

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See also:

Michigan Capitol Confidential Coverage of the Michigan Film Incentive Program

New Transformers Flick Costs Each Michigan Taxpayer $1.36

Michigan Film Subsidy Winner Costs 10x More to Make Than It Earns

Northern Michigan University economist Hugo Eyzaguirre discusses how raising the minimum wage will hurt emerging local economies. See more at "Raising the Minimum Wage, Lowering Opportunity."


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