NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

States Weigh Cuts in Hollywood Subsidies

January 25, 2011

Tax credits for Hollywood are under fresh scrutiny in states like Pennsylvania, Michigan and New Mexico, all of which have new Republican governors reviewing film subsidy programs that were started under Democratic predecessors, says the New York Times.

Studies about the efficacy of film credits, which became widespread in the last eight years, have been maddeningly divergent in their conclusions, depending on methodology, the structure of the credit and, sometimes, who sponsors the report, says the Times.

  • Looking at the credits nationwide, a report released in December by the nonprofit Center on Budget and Policy Priorities pointed to a study done for the Massachusetts Legislature in 2009 that concluded film subsidies were costing the state $88,000 a job.
  • A similar study for New York's film office said government coffers were gaining $2,000 with each job created.
  • Overall, the center's report concluded that film subsidies offered "little bang for the buck."

Source: Michael Cieply, "States Weigh Cuts in Hollywood Subsidies," New York Times, January 19, 2011.

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