Monday, March 16, 2009

Taxes do matter…

When I was in Boston, it was not odd to accidentally stumble upon an impromptu ‘set’ for a Movie or popular TV Show. Boston as a city and Massachusetts as a state, land of a thousand taxes (and fees, when taxes can’t apply) has some of the most favorable tax breaks for movies and TV shows to set up production there. A lot of States and Metro areas are doing the same thing. New York (city and state) and Michigan are also so high in tax benefits that it is possible to have a negative tax on your entire production in these areas.

Ever watch '30 Rock'? Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin’s sit com on NBC? Well Alec Baldwin recently rebuked New York Governor David Paterson for trying to help close the state's $7 billion budget deficit by stating he may cancel the 35% tax credit for filming in New York City.

"I'm telling you right now," said Baldwin, "if these tax breaks are not reinstated into the budget, film production in this town is going to collapse, and television is going to collapse and it's all going to go to California."

'30 Rock' is filmed in Manhattan.

Isn’t that irony? What is you ask? This; The Motion Picture Production and Distribution industry gave $14 million in political contributions last year: 89% went to pro-tax Democrats.

I was also told that the filming of “Annapolis” (a film about the Naval Academy) was originally planned to film in Maryland (You know, where the Naval Academy actually is…) but as production as scheduled to begin the received a last minute offer from Pennsylvania. What happened? They packed up and headed to the Keystone State to save an additional $10 million in tax incentives. Similar happenings occurred in Mississippi where filming was set to begin for “Runaway Jury”; When Louisiana came knocking, they packed up and headed to Cajun Country.
Anyway, just to bring home a point here, taxes do matter. Enough that folks are willing to ‘leave town’.

1 comment:

Dean L said...

It's ironic that taxes DO matter when they finally hit Hollywood liberals at home.

Whoopi Goldberg for example, was all for supporting Obama, and even paying more taxes. That is until she actually saw the bill;