Even though the Legislature approved a state budget last week that included $25 million for incentives for the film industry, a Senate panel passed a bill Tuesday that would not only end the film incentives on Oct. 1, 2016, but stops funding for the Michigan Film Office as well.
Arts & Culture
Lawmakers this week passed a budget that would effectively slash Michigan's film incentives to $6 million in fiscal year 2016, but Michigan Film Office Director Jenell Leonard says the industry can "absolutely" survive at that funding level.
The state's film industry will remain strong despite the Legislature's proposal to reduce movie and television production subsidies effectively to $6 million next year, the head of the Michigan Film Office said Wednesday.
The film incentives have cost the state more than $450 million since they were instituted in 2008. But the film industry has spent more than $1.3 billion in Michigan during that time, according to annual reports with the Michigan Film office.
Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof and five other Republican Senate committee leaders are scheduled this month to attend a Motion Pictures Association of America event in Washington, D.C., an industry spokeswoman confirmed Thursday.
In early February, Jenell Leonard started her new job as director of the Michigan Film Office.
A month later, the Michigan House passed a bill to end the film incentives.
This past week, Michigan's House of Representatives voted to kill the tax incentives for the film industry. Some lawmakers acted as if they'd just slain an evil dragon.
Not so fast, Gandalf.
The Michigan House of Representatives today voted 58 to 51 to pass legislation that would end the state's film incentive program.
HB 4122, sponsored by Rep. Dan Lauwers, would put a stop to the incentives starting Oct. 1, 2015.
A House committee voted Wednesday to end the state’s $50 million-a-year subsidy for film and television production in Michigan on Oct. 1, setting up a potential budget battle in the weeks to come.
It now appears that, for the sort of reasons that often count most – political reasons – there is a realistic chance that Michigan’s film subsidy program will end soon.