New Report: More States Abandoning Film Tax Incentives

June 3, 2011

We released a new report late yesterday on the recent decline in the number of states offering film tax incentives and the amounts offered:

In 2010, a record 40 states offered $1.4 billion in film and television tax incentives. All told, states have provided nearly $6 billion for such programs over the past decade. 2010 will likely stand as the peak year, since many governors and legislators are ending their programs, preferring to use the money for other priorities or leave it with taxpayers.[…]

[W]hile film incentive programs were once universally applauded as great economic development tools and tourism boosters, their merits are now being rigorously debated. At a minimum, film incentive programs should be required to report how many dollars in incentives were provided per each Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) job created by qualified productions. Programs should be reviewed periodically for their effectiveness by legislative oversight or a third party.

The report details recent suspensions or eliminations in Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, New Jersey, and Washington. Additionally, programs are facing additional restrictions or scrutiny in Alaska, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Michigan, Missouri, New Mexico, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin.

On the other hand, officials have extended, protected, or expanded film incentive programs in California, Minnesota, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah, Virginia, and Wyoming.

Governors Rick Snyder (R-MI), Susanna Martinez (R-NM), and Lincoln Chafee (I-RI) have been particuarly critical. Advocates of their film incentive programs have included Governors Mark Dayton (DFL-MN), John Kasich (R-OH), Tom Corbett (R-PA), and Bob McDonnell (R-VA).

Check out the new report here. Also see our larger report on film tax credits, “Movie Production Incentives & Film Tax Credits: Blockbuster Support for Lackluster Policy.”

Year

States with Film Incentive Program

Incentive Amounts Offered

1999 and earlier

4

$2 million

2000

4

$3 million

2001

4

$1 million

2002

5

$1 million

2003

5

$2 million

2004

9

$68 million

2005

15

$129 million

2006

24

$369 million

2007

33

$489 million

2008

35

$807 million

2009

40

$1.247 billion

2010

40

$1.396 billion

2011

37

$1.299 billion


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