The budget process has just begun, but already Michigan is feeling the pain with news that the big-budget movie featuring Iron Man, the Hulk and Captain America – The Avengers has decided not to shoot in Michigan.
“They were all set to come here,” said Chris Baum of Film Detroit, a division of the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau. When producers couldn’t get confirmation that they would still qualify for the incentives, they decided to pull out of the state, Baum said.
You can see Mitch Albom discussing the issue in a video below. He asks in his excellent article on how (and why) Michigan should fight this if any other field grew 100 times over — from $2 million to $225 million — in two years and if any other field kept our young, bright minds from leaving or brought more attention to the beauty and talent of our state. The answer is definitely “Heck no!” and I think Albom makes a great case for what a baffling move this is on Snyder’s part to shoot our booming media production industry in the head. Mitch writes that the paltry $25 million allocated to the program will do little:
Either way, he kills the future of the film/TV/video game industry here. With such a low cap, few new projects will come. Many have pulled out in the last few days. Studios just washed millions down the drain. Folks who moved here to be part of a growing industry will leave again.
And we look like fools. Imagine a state that yells, “Come on in!”, leads the nation in a program — then three years later shuts it down. Would you want to do business here?
Learn about Snyder’s thinking right here and see how the Center for Michigan reads Snyder’s budget. One thing is sure – the numbers don’t add up, something that is puzzling given Snyder’s “Nerd” reputation. WLNS reports that:
Ernst & Young has found that Michigan’s film incentives generate nearly 6 dollars in economic activity for every dollar spent. It also shows the production of movies and TV shows in Michigan during 2009 and 2010 generated 812 million in economic output and more than 6,000 full-time equivalent jobs. A senate fiscal agency previously said the incentives generate 10 cents in new tax revenue per dollar spent. Governor Snyder’s budget proposal calls for the elimination of the film tax incentive program and orders a 25 million dollar cap on film credits starting later this year.
In case anyone is keeping track, that is well above the $3 figure we’ve heard for Pure Michigan. Here’s Mitch talking about the issue.