Friday, January 8, 2016

Mississippi movie making: Lights, camera, CUT, as in tax cut. and PEER questioned the effectiveness of tax incentives for filmmakers who produce their movies in Mississippi.  Steve Wilson reported: 

Filmmakers received nearly $4 million in incentives from Mississippi taxpayers to bring their productions to the Magnolia State, but state taxpayers don’t benefit from the Hollywood glitz, according to records obtained by Mississippi Watchdog and a report by the state Legislature.
The $3.9 million in incentives for movies and TV shows doled out in 2015 was by far the biggest outlay in the past four years. In 2014, the state rebated filmmakers more than $891,000 in taxes after crediting them $1.2 million in 2013 and $1.4 million in 2012.

The state Legislature’s PEER Committee (Joint Committee on Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review) released a report in December about the Mississippi Film Office’s effectiveness, noting Mississippi loses 51 cents for every dollar spent on the film incentive program and that money would be better spent on incentives for manufacturing. The figure was calculated based on incentive outlays compared to the jobs and economic activity the film projects have reaped. The program, according to the report, created 1,094 direct and secondary jobs in fiscal 2015, or a cost of $3,575 per job.

Related: Lights, cameras…action? Mississippi paid filmmakers fewer tax incentives in 2014

Ward Emling, director of the Mississippi Film Office, said the number of productions has increased thanks to some relationships built by his office. He said the state’s incentive program is extremely competitive both with other states and internationally.

“We’ve had a lot of production here,” Emling said. “We’ve had filmmakers we’ve worked with before and talked with a lot over the years and finally, everything worked. We don’t see it changing. Our incentive is pretty close to Louisiana and Georgia, when you look at the cash value of the incentive.  Rest of the article. 


Ready for my closeup said...

The beautiful people that the movie industry brings into Jackson is worth it

Anonymous said...

Sort of a dumb decision to make. Instead of loosing the money we could use it in some other areas.

Anonymous said...

I think we get more than a little dollar value out of showing how beautiful our State is.
I don't see that PEER put a dollar value on that.
I also suspect the manufacturer's association had more than a little influence on the report.
Do you think those in the films don't have good things to say to others they meet?
And, I know when people come from out of state, they want to see the things they've seen in movies and on television. I know many friends out of State who have gone on the Blues Trail because of Antony Bourdain's piece, and to Natchez because of movies filmed on locations there. When I go to national conventions, I'm asked about the places others have seen in films.
We have a legislature that knows the cost of everything and the value of nothing.

Anonymous said...

Most movies do not project the State in a positive matter.

Anonymous said...

does their analysis include the fact that these companies SPEND a ton of money in the state? when "A Time to Kill" was filmed in Canton way back in the 90's, they had a house built to burn down [the attorney's house] and had a massive buffet every day they shot with expensive food to feed hundreds! Caterers cried for months when the production moved by to California.

Anonymous said...

My company is a vendor for many movie productions here in Mississippi. I'm very thankful for the business but giving the film companies so much in tax incentives they should not want such cut rates from Mississippi and local vendors and they should pay us on time BUT they pay slow and want the lowest prices but yet want us to jump when they say jump. This is because the precedent was already set by MDA and our state that everyone will cater to them and slow pay is fine and we are cheap anyway so they an take advantage of us . The solution is to not give as much tax incentive, some tax incentive but we don't have to give our state away! MDA should help improve our image as a great state to do movies not as the cheapest and weakest that we give our resources away! It filters down to the businesses that are local and are support businesses to the film business.

Anonymous said...

Not a spending priority. Cut the program.

Anonymous said...

Could be worse @3:31 PM. Could have rented a bus to Kennuf sTokes.

Anonymous said...

When they gonna look into the "cultural retail" tax rebate?

Anonymous said...

Movies that are made in Mississippi are destructive to our image as they only focus on the atrocities of the state's horrible racist past.

Anonymous said...

Louisiana went through this last year and cut their movie "tax giveaway to rich democrats that loathe the republicans and the south" too

Anonymous said...

The only return we get for our money is our image plastered all over the screen. It isn't a image most people want shown even if it is true.

Anonymous said...

Wait a minute. Are we talking about handing out money or simply discounting/abating the tax they will have to pay if they shoot their movie in Mississippi? It sounds like we're offering up something that we'll never have if they go elsewhere. What's the problem? The only time a tax incentive/rebate is real money lost to the state is when there's another business that would have paid the tax that is turned away in favor of the one getting the rebates.

Anonymous said...

The state pays rediculous incentives for new and expanded manufacturing based on number of new jobs. Film industry is more difficult to quantify. Mississippi spends lots of money to attract manufacturing that may or may not pan out. It should be easy to capture the amount spent in the state to produce the film, state income tax paid by the actors, producers, other staff, and the return on publicity to the state which can continue for years.

Anonymous said...

This is the problem with using static economics to determine a dynamic economic impact. The State did not "pay" the film company to film in Mississippi, it forgave a certain amount of taxes it could have received because the film company conducted its business in Mississippi instead of Louisiana. To determine the amount of economic impact in a dynamic environment you must SUBTRACT the amount that Mississippi companies and employees would not have received due to not enticing the film in Mississippi. The actual cost to the state is only the cost of the employees of the MDA assigned to recruit filming in Mississippi; which I suspect would still be there.

Also, it's not the filming that gives the State a bad image, that would be the story. They very easily could make the film in Alabama, Louisiana, or even California.

Anonymous said...

Garbage in, garbage out and this report needs to go in the garbage.

This report is a waste of paper/

You either have the revenue generated from money spent while the film company is in Mississippi plus the publicity value or you have nothing .

There's no " lost revenue" or cost to the State.

There is possibly a cost to blocking roads or police protection for the actors to local communities that could be taken care of by requiring the film company to pay negotiate those costs with the local community.

Is there is common sense to be found in our legislature government at all?

Anonymous said...

I heard Phil on the Gallo show the other day and Gallo asked him about movies coming to the State and Phil said he see's movie making in Mississippi as a break even venture for the state. So why do we do it? So Hollywood types can travel to Mississippi and see we are actually good people? No we do it because some State bigwigs get to play deal maker with some of the "b" movie/tv producers who travel to the state.

Lights, Camera....Incentive said...

3:08; You're nuts! Yes, when tax abatements are granted to a new or expanding industry, that comes at a price. And the price we pay for that is called jobs. Jobs that last for decades. Jobs that would otherwise not exist and that will benefit the local and state economy. Do you not understand how that works? Really?

I agree that, on average (if there's such a thing in this regard), films about our state have been negative and have portrayed us as backwards, hoodlums, ignorant, bumbling cardboard cutouts of Junior Samples. Do we really want to pay people to do that? Or give them incentives to do that?

Meet with the directors and writers up front. If their concept will benefit us in a positive way, roll out the red carpet. If not, make it tough on them. It's not illegal yet to discriminate against film-makers.

Anonymous said...

Mississippi's film incentive program is a little different than those in many other states. Filmmakers who come to Mississippi do not get tax credits like they do in Louisiana or Georgia. Rather, when the film is over, they submit receipts to the Department of Revenue for all of the money that was paid specifically to Mississippi businesses and individuals.This includes things like hotel rooms, caterers and cast and crew members who are Mississippi residents. The filmmaker receives back an actual rebate check in the amount of 25% of the "Mississippi spend".

Having talked to several filmmakers who have come to the state, I have learned that they like this procedure because they can use the rebate money to help with post-production of the film. This is one reason why Mississippi has attracted so many small movies of late as their limited budgets make our state seem very attractive.

For those of you worried that we are subsidizing the slander of our state, be aware that most of the movies made here lately are not about Mississippi. Recent examples include "Starve", which aired on the SyFy channel, never mentioned a state,"Life at These Speeds", currently at Sundance,is set in Missouri and even Faith Hill's "Dixieland" was set in a generic southern state.

It appears that the Legislature in enacting the program had set aside up to $20 million per year for incentives.We are only spending a fraction of that each year. Because of the nature of the film industry,I think it is very difficult to tell exactly how much money is generated by these films coming to the state so it is certainly premature to cancel the program.One tweak might be to require some percentage of the crew to be Mississippi residents in order to receive the rebate. This would create additional jobs here and lead to a better trained workforce. It would also give the filmmakers an excuse to keep out the union thugs from New Orleans who frequently try to muscle their way onto Mississippi productions at the expense of local crew.

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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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