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Friday, June 19, 2009

Thumbs Down on Film Tax Credit

The Patriot News has a scathing editorial against Pennsylvania's Film Tax Credit.  Here is the deathblow:

A closer look at the "motion picture industry" employment statistics (cited in the report) reveal growth of a mere 556 jobs from 2002 to 2007. That's not the bonanza some would have us believe.
Here is our recent take on the study and more on film tax credits


W said...

I think we should consider more than just the jobs directly created by the tax credit. How about the businesses which benefit from the film production? The tax revenue from associated costs? The free publicity?

I remember people from outside the region telling me how excited they were to visit Philadelphia after watching "The 6th Sense".

Only in Pennsylvania would people complain about something which reaps benefit.


Nathan Benefield said...

You forget a few key thing.

1) The Sixth Sense was made before the film tax credit was available. It can hardly be considered being responsible for "bringing that film" to Pennsylvania. In fact, M. Knight Shyamalan's films didn't suck until he started taking taxpayer subsidy.

2) Every business has multiplier effects - other businesses that benefit from their presence, tax revenue, publicity (e.g. Harley, Hershey, the Steelers). Most have far greater impact than the film industry, since they aren't temporary job creators.

So why should the film industry alone get the tax credit, while every other business gets higher taxes? A lower tax rate would benefit both filmmakers and every other business, and be far better economic policy.