News reports state the movie makers of "Iron Man 3" left Michigan for North Carolina because Michigan wouldn’t meet demands for up to $30 million in incentives for the production company.

While Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, R-Monroe, implied Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration made a mistake in losing Iron Man 3, the Mackinac Center for Public Policy’s James Hohman says politicians should have much higher priorities for state tax dollars.

For instance, Hohman, assistant director of fiscal policy, estimated that 4,892 families that were kicked off welfare this year could get assistance again with $30 million.

Also, it would take all the tax receipts of nearly 2,000 small businesses to pay for that $30 million subsidy, Hohman estimated.

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Sen. Richardville said negotiations for film tax incentives were ongoing to bring a Steven Spielberg movie to Michigan. Spielberg’s net worth is estimated to be $3 billion.

“Legislators have serious prioritization problems if they would rather give $30 million to Steven Spielberg than to improve Michigan's business climate or bolster its human service programs,” Hohman said.

Sen. Richardville told AM-1270 host and WWJ political analyst Charlie Langton that Gov. Snyder’s administration does not want an encore of what happened with "Ironman 3," which went to another state.

“We will have learned from the Iron Man lesson,” Richardville said. “That’s one thing about this administration — you can’t be perfect with everything you do. … The governor would be the first to admit that he made mistakes. … They learned from that and now are out negotiating on a Steven Spielberg movie, and I can’t really get into a whole lot of detail now. You could be hearing something very, very exciting over the next couple of weeks.”

Sen. Richardville didn’t respond to an email seeking comment.


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

Real Steel or Reel Steal? New Film Costs $4.26 Per Michigan Taxpayer


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Ted Nelson is a retired Michigan State Police officer who trained police departments throughout the state on civil asset forfeiture. He believes the practice has been misused and needs to change.

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