“MacGruber” Made with Tax Credit, But Creates No Hair Stylist Job
May 24, 2010
Tax Docket catches an interview about the newly-released film “Macgruber” (based on the Saturday Night Live MacGyver-parody sketch character), where they note that the film took advantage of New Mexico’s tax credits. In return for taxpayers subsidizing the production of the movie, the state requires producers to use a largely New Mexico crew. They did, with one major exception:
But the [MacGruber] wig is an unruly little creation, so Betty Rogers, who’s the head of the hair department at SNL, came to make sure it was tamed every day. She is so good at what she does. So it was basically her and a bunch of great people from New Mexico.
We’ve shown that the enormous expenditures states are putting into tax subsidies for film productions are achieving little in the way of permanent job creation and almost nothing in the way of economic development:
States claim to boost job training with MPIs, but these tax incentives often encourage individuals to gain skills that are only employable as long as politicians enact ever larger subsidies for the film industry. Furthermore, the competition among states transfers a large portion of potential gains to the movie industry, not to local businesses or state coffers. It is unlikely that movie production incentives generate wealth in the long run. Most fail even in the short run. Yet they remain popular.