Sunday, September 27, 2015

Some states are discontinuing movie tax credit programs.

The Wall Street Journal published a column last week that said the movie-tax credit business was turning into a "B" rated blunder for states as the hoped-for benefits failed to materialize. Chris Hudson and Donald Bryson opined:

Lights, camera, tax credits! Apparently that’s how movies are shot in the 21st century. Hardly any major box office hit in recent years—from “Iron Man 3” to “The Hunger Games” to “Jurassic World”—made it to the silver screen without a hand from taxpayers. Yet negative reviews of these programs keep rolling in. North Carolina and Florida are examples that illustrate how difficult it is to let this corporate welfare fade to black.

Film tax incentives first took the stage in Louisiana in 1992. By 2009, 44 states and Puerto Rico had such programs. Film tax credits are expected to cost state taxpayers $1.8 billion this year, according to the Tax Foundation.

Many states offer refundable credits, say, for 20% of production costs. So when studios don’t owe taxes, they receive a cash payment. Other states, such as Georgia and Louisiana, even offer transferrable credits that studios can sell to another company—regardless of industry—seeking to lower its tax bill.

Proponents argue that film tax credits create well-paying jobs for local residents. Some even suggest that the incentives pay for themselves by boosting the economy and increasing government revenues. The Motion Picture Association of America claims: “Pure and simple: film and tax incentives create jobs, expand revenue pools and stimulate local economies.”

But real life is no Hollywood dream. Nearly every independent study has found that these arguments are more fiction than fact. The left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities put it best in a 2010 report: “State film subsidies are a wasteful, ineffective, and unfair instrument of economic development.”

No kidding. North Carolina and Florida, where we live, illustrate this reality. Mainly thanks to filming taking place in Wilmington, with its serene marshes, North Carolina began offering film tax credits in 2005. Lawmakers expanded the program in 2010 to cover 25% of a production’s cost up to $20 million, if the production spent at least $250,000 in the state. This cost taxpayers a high of $83.3 million in 2012.

A 2014 study by the North Carolina General Assembly’s Fiscal Research Division found that much of this money went down the drain: “For every dollar North Carolina allocates to the state film production credit it loses 54 cents.”

The jobs picture was bleaker. Looking at 2011, the Fiscal Research Division found $30 million in credits created 55 to 70 new jobs with a total payroll of $2 million. State taxpayers forked over between $429,000 and $545,000 a job, and these positions paid an average salary of $36,000 a year. It would be more sensible to give 100 unemployed people briefcases with $100,000 in cash.

After shelling out more than $200 million from 2012 to 2014, state lawmakers brought the program to a close at the end of last year, replacing it with a much smaller $10 million annual grant program. But earlier this month the Tar Heel state’s budget negotiators caved to film-industry demands for more cash. They agreed to triple the $10 million grant program to $30 million a year.

Fortunately, leaders in other states aren’t backing down. In 2010, Florida lawmakers enacted a $296 million film tax-incentive program to last through 2016. Several years in, though, all the funds were already allocated and the program was suspended. This summer, film-industry lobbyists blitzed Tallahassee for the third straight year seeking more funds.

Yet as in North Carolina, the program’s performance belonged in the horror section. The Florida Office of Economic and Demographic Research in January found it produced a measly 43-cent return on every dollar spent. And the jobs that were “created” were temporary, including many out-of-state fly-ins. After a special budget session in May, Gov. Rick Scott signed a two-year state budget that kept Florida’s film tax credits off the script.

But here’s what’s depressing. The film-incentive programs in Florida and North Carolina have been among the most successful. Connecticut’s Department of Economic Development found a mere 7-cent return on every dollar spent. Michigan (11 cents), Louisiana (13-18 cents), New Mexico (14 cents), Massachusetts (16 cents), Pennsylvania (24 cents), and Arizona (28 cents) produced similarly terrible results.

The good news is that other states are yanking their film programs. Michigan and New Jersey ended their handouts earlier this summer, while Louisiana capped its subsidies—albeit after doling out more than $1 billion in the past five years. Arizona, Idaho, Indiana and Missouri have also either rolled back or shut down their programs in recent years. Yet 35 states continue to offer incentives..... Rest of article.

Kingfish note: Meanwhile, Mississippi began offering such credits last year. states on its website:

The Mississippi Motion Picture Incentive Program provides a cash rebate on eligible expenditures and payroll and provides sales and use tax reductions on eligible rentals/purchases. This program is available for nationally distributed motion pictures, television programs, DVDs, documentaries, short films, commercials, video games; and includes animation, interactive media, 3D applications, cinematics, visual effects, and motion capture. National distribution includes theatrical, broadcast, direct to DVD/video, festival screening, streaming video, and internet delivery. 

There is a $50,000 minimum Mississippi investment (local spend) per project. There is a $10 million per project rebate cap. There is a $20 million annual rebate cap. (Mississippi’s fiscal year is July 1- June 30.) There is no minimum requirement for production days or percentage of production spend. At least 20% of the production crew on payroll must be Mississippi residents.

Participation in the Mississippi Motion Picture Incentive Program must be acknowledged in the end credits. The Mississippi Film Office logo must also be displayed. Graphic will be provided.
 Here are some other incentives:

  •  A production is eligible for a 25% rebate of their base investment (local spend) in Mississippi. The base investment is based on production expenditures in Mississippi. As a general rule, Mississippi spend is defined as expenditures paid to Mississippi vendors and companies, including cast and crew non-payroll expenditures (i.e., per diems and housing allowances), and all fringes.
  •  A production is eligible for a 25% cash rebate on payroll paid to non-resident cast and crew whose wages are subject to Mississippi Income Tax Withholding and for that portion of their salary for the project up to and including $5 million. 
  •  A production is eligible for a 30% cash rebate on payroll paid to resident cast and crew whose wages are subject to Mississippi Income Tax Withholding and for that portion of their salary for the project up to and including $5 million

 Local RULZ!!!


Anonymous said...

Oh, no, you must be wrong. The "Creatives" are going to save the day!!!

Anonymous said...

Oh couldn't possibly expect our elected officials to ask other States what they've learned when they can talk to movie folks!

You really don't expect them to read any studies if they were handed one, do you?

Besides, those we elect want to do " what their constituents want". Never mind if their constituents don't have the facts available to them! ( one legislator went so far as to poll his constituents after running on, " I do what you want me to do").

God forbid those we elect should actually read anything on any issue or try get information from other than lobbyists! It's certainly to much to ask that they learn and inform us!

That'd be leadership and work and doing the job they were elected to do!

Anonymous said...

Hollywood has nothing but contempt for Mississippians. Conservative white people who live in the South are HATED in So Cal and New York. Just look at the mockery regularly heaped upon us, from Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert to the most recent Emmy program.

Yet we beg them to come to our state and take our money. All starry-eyed and star-struck, we encourage them to continue to spit upon us as they use our beautiful state for their foul liberal propaganda. And we're losing money on it, too.

We should be ashamed.

Anonymous said...

Oh this can't be true. Giving corporations tax breaks always creates more jobs.

Anonymous said...

You're right, 7:19.

Have there been ANY movies made in Mississippi, which did NOT include the usual 'burlesquing' of Southerners?

The movie industry in Mississippi is no more than forced self-fecalization of Mississippians (we participate, whether we like it or not, through the expenditure of our public monies on these projects).

Anonymous said...


There is a lot to hate in Mississippi. This state is as segregated as it was in the 1950s. Don't believe me? Well, wake up, grab some coffee and lets go for a drive.

First stop? Church. Yep. All white audiences and all black audiences. Same as 1950.

Next stop? School Monday morning. Yep. 95% black in all public schools (and higher in the delta) while all private schools are lilly white (or asian/indian....with a rare black child).

Now where to? Ok, lets go to Eastover in Jackson. 95% white. Few black folks. Same as 1950.

And before you get all angry Homer and type some nasty vitriol calling me all sorts of mean and nasty things....look at your daughter and ask yourself.....would you be ok with her dating a black guy? Honest Homer will say no...hes not comfortable with his daughter dating a black guy.

So get off your ill gotten high horse and face reality people.

Anonymous said...

No things are not perfect, but the issues you point out are the same in most places across the country. Nevertheless, there has been a lot of progress. My church is predominately suburban white, but we have African American members as well. They participate fully in the life of the church. The church partners with a predominately inner-city African-American congregation to support their programs and outreach. These kinds of partnerships are more and more common. First Baptist Church, Jackson, has an outstanding program known as Mission First which provides medical, dental, and legal services to a predominately African American community, as well as counseling services, after school care, etc. Mission Mississippi is doing outstanding work bringing people together across racial lines. None of these kinds of programs existed in the 1950's. Most churches today are predominately black or white by choice, because of location, tradition, and worship style. I have attended black church services where I felt entirely welcome, but the style of worship is not my personal preference. I am sure many African Americans find white church services too staid and confining.

Schools of higher education have insignificantly increased diversity in both faculty and student bodies as opposed to the segregation of the past. This is certainly true of Mississippi College, as an example. It is true at virtually all nonHBCU schools. While public school segregation is an issue, it is also true that unlike in the past, the private schools do have African American students. Segregation in public schools now is less about race itself and more about quality of education available. Parents, white and black, who have resources will put their children in the best school available to them. That tends to be private school in the Delta or in Jackson.

So what are you personally doing to build bridges and relationships across racial lines in Mississippi and make things better?

Tell da troof, Danny Mollisack! said...


Take your bigotry back to the JFP where it's welcome in their sniveling little circles of bitterness.

First, show me a church that excludes people based on race. Then take that and show me how that extends to all churches in the state. Then explain how one side (your implication is obvious that blacks are being excluded) is disenfranchised by their voluntary choice of a place to worship. Do that or shut up.

Second, are you suggesting that 95% black in public schools is like it was in 1950? Maybe JPS is 95% black (definitely not like 1950), but I would invite you to open your mind and visit NW Rankin, Madison High School, Ridgeland High School, Georgetown, etc. and then try to push that tired liberal bigotry that those schools are as segregated as in 1950.

Third, instead of cherry picking a single neighborhood, why not broaden your horizons (I know that's hard for you) and look at the neighborhoods throughout NE Jackson. Look at Heatherwood, Rollingwood, Leftover, Belhaven, Fondren and tell me that they are "95% white, same as 1950." You can't because it's not true, regardless of what your uninformed bigotry tells you.

Fourth, my daughter's choice of a dating partner depends entirely upon the man himself. I don't want her bringing home some tattooed redneck in a wife beater any more than I want her bringing home a gangsta rapper in a wife beater. Maybe you should try judging people by the content of their character before you put your bigoted words in my mouth, a$$hole.

But they eat this up at the JFP, because they are virulently bigoted. They feign tolerance while stereotyping all the Madison/Ridgeland white people in the exact manner you do. Go hang with Todd, Donna, Tom, and the rest of the JFPers. With your attitude, they're gonna LOVE you!

Anonymous said...

2:21 PM = not an "honest Homer"

You would not allow your daughter to date any black man.....or it would be so seriously frowned upon that she would never even try. So you can stop that lie right now. And pic or it didn't happen.

Churches do exclude by race....look at the giant Baptist Church on Northside. It was lily white...and when the neighborhood turned..they moved to they didn't...they moved to Highland Colony Parkway in Madison. surely they could have started a racial dialogue but they didn't...they cut and ran.

Public schools are all black....period. Not one singly white person WITH AN OPTION will send their kids to JPS. Your daughter certainly doesn't go there and you would move to another planet before you would let her go. Stop lying Homer.

And Homer...if you have a son.....I know you are not going to let him date a black lady....period. In fact Homer....I bet at deer camp you are the first one to talk about "n" this and "n" that....this very discussion will be the subject of your next great hunt....and you will be laughing the entire time. STFU

9:43 AM

A true gentleman. He disagrees with me and offers his opinion. Thank you for your opinion.

I agree things are not the exact same as 1950...that is true.

I am thrilled that First Baptist has an outreach program for inner city Jackson. That is new. Not long ago they loved to go to Africa but would not allow a single black person in the audience. I will attend this Sunday and take a county for you by the way.

Ever been to Jackson Rotary? Looks like a 1950 fraternity meeting at Ole Miss.

This state will forever remain on the bottom rung due to inherent racist tendencies of all of those who have in this community. It is not that hard. Take a look for God's sake. Can you not see? You do not have a clue where Prentiss Street is....nor do you know where California Drive skirt the real Jackson like it is the plague....then complain why its so bad.

Its hard to even discuss this with folks who are so willfully blind.

And don't get me started on how much you hate fags.....

Anonymous said...


Sorry if I don't understand your Homer reference. Is that some kind of liberal slur for white people? You appear to be using it as such. I'm not really familiar with the slang terms of liberal bigotry.

Here's what bigotry looks like: "You would not allow your daughter to date any black man" "If you have a son...I know you are not going to let him date a black lady...period." Here are two absolute statements you have made about me with not a shred of knowledge. You are making assumptions based on your warped biases. You are pathetic.

Show me evidence that any church excludes by race. So Broadmoor moved because their congregation had largely relocated north. Did they tell anyone that they weren't allowed because of race? I asked you to expand that to all churches as you claim, but you can't. But if this really bothers you, why aren't you bemoaning the churches that are all black? Why are you not implying that they are racist?

Did you even read my comment about public school? If so, your reading comprehension is awful. Did you attend JPS?

You really are hung up on the year 1950. I supposed that's when you stopped thinking for yourself and just started accepting whatever the mass media tells you. Your views are about as informed and accurate as someone from that year.

Keep writing your hateful little screeds of bigotry and maybe Tom Head will finally let you into his Dungeons and Dragons club!

Love and kisses!!!


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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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