Batman and Superman vs. Taxpayers

Film subsidy costs taxpayers almost $8 each

Michigan Capitol Confidential reports that the state is giving a Hollywood studio that made more than $1 billion in profits last year $35 million to film the "Batman vs. Superman" movie to be filmed in Michigan.

In the past, we've looked at what this means to each individual income taxpayer. The most recent numbers from the state show there are about 4.5 million taxpayers, meaning each one is on the hook for $7.80 for the film. Perhaps taxpayers can request that amount off their ticket price when the movie is released in 2015.

Film subsidies are bad policy, opposed by nearly all independent researchers. They mostly redistribute wealth from the general population to a few very large studios. And when subsidies are threatened to be cut, those large studios try and hold it over taxpayer heads, making this "temporary" government program permanent.

Michigan House Republicans tried to end the subsidies last year, but the GOP-dominated Senate resisted and they were brought back at a budgeted cost of $50 million annually to taxpayers. And despite occasional statements and stands against corporate welfare, every current Democrat on record also supports them.

Besides being unfair, the program has not lead to overall jobs or wealth creation. If the state is serious about talk of rolling back the income tax or finding more money for roads, this is one of the best places to start.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.