Chief Economist Greg Albrecht reveals how much money Louisiana film subsidies lost.
Last week I criticized the VES for advocating for more subsidies in California. As I pointed out, Governor Jerry Brown believes films subsidies are a losing strategy. Other states seem to show the same problem.
Louisiana Film Subsidy Program Loses -85%
Last month the state of Louisiana did a revenue study and hearing on film subsidies offered there. Legislators were almost shocked to learn the return on every $1 spent of film subsidies was .15 cents!
Michigan Spent $40 Million on OZ
Oz made lots of money this opening weekend. The state of Michigan gave the film $40 million in subsidies. The facility it was shot at is unable to meet it’s financial obligations and the pension system for state employees and teachers was used as collateral.
New York Gov cuts Funding for Disabled, Increases Film Subsidies
Nevada Competitive Without Film Subsidies
The state of Nevada is one of the few states without film subsidies and yet it’s quite competitive:
Even without the film tax credits, however, Nevada competes well against other states with credits. According to the MPAA, the film and television industry is responsible for 2,975 direct jobs and $135.7 million in wages in Nevada. In New Mexico, a state with a 25 percent credit and where the television program “Vegas” is filmed, film and television are responsible for 3,268 direct jobs but only $131 million in wages.
State governments tend to release more independent studies of their film programs. The vast majority of them show a loss and the ones that do show a gain were paid for by the film commissions themselves.
British Columbia, which is a hot spot for VFX, did a study in 2010 which measured the impact of films subsidies:
An economic impact study commissioned by the province in 2010 was never released because of internal conflicts over methodology