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Michigan Taxpayers Alliance Updates: March 2008

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Raiders of the Lost Treasury!


Governor Granholm and state lawmakers are supporting new legislation that gives a 40% tax break to movie and TV producers that film in Michigan. At a Lansing committee hearing on Tuesday, Free Press columnist Mitch Albom joined actor Jeff Daniels and a slew of state officials who argued that giving the film and video industry a tax break will boost investment and film production in Michigan.

But we know that tax breaks don't encourage job growth - government spending does! How do we know that? Granholm's treasury officials told us so. For years, Granholm's treasury officials testified before the House Tax Policy Committee that businesses don't care much about taxes; instead they care about quality services like police, fire, education, roads and such. These treasury officials apparently know more about what businesses want than businesses do, because business groups always testified that taxes DO matter.

So, did Granholm and the legislature propose that a fire truck and social worker be assigned to movie crews who set up shop in Michigan, hoping that these available services would entice more film crews? No, instead, Granholm has reversed course and argues that lower taxes DO matter - but only for movie makers. Everyone else wants more government stuff.

Hmm, wait a minute...a closer examination of the legislation reveals that the bills propose more than tax breaks. They also provide for up to $15 million in direct loans to movies studios, with the money coming out of future tobacco revenues borrowed at 40 cents on the dollar today.

Higher taxes on you and every other business in Michigan to pay for tax breaks and loans to Hollywood. With this kind of "leadership" in Lansing, we won't have to worry about enticing film makers - documentary crews will locate here to record Michigan's economic future and call it, "Apocalypse Now!"

Can you think of any other film titles appropriate for Granholm's Michigan? Maybe, "Jenny and We"? Send your film title ideas to leon@mitaxpayers.org and we will compile a top ten list to forward to state lawmakers.