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Senate leader hopes to boost value of film incentives

By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network


LANSING, MI – The state Senate leader says he is looking for ways to make Michigan more attractive to filmmakers now that the state has scaled back generous tax breaks for the industry. Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville will introduce legislation this week to boost the value of Michigan's film incentives.

Film projects started bailing on Michigan as soon as Governor Rick Snyder and the Legislature scaled back incentives worth up to 42% of the cost of a movie, TV show, or video. That was one of the more controversial acts so far this year, but the governor and many Republicans say the subsidies were not a good deal for taxpayers.

But Senator Richardville - the Senate GOP leader -- also says the boom in filmmaking has been good for Michigan.

"So we're trying to look toward different philosophies toward economic development, merge them together, and still try to salvage a decent return for the industry and I think we've got a real good chance to do it," Richardville says.

Richardville says the package he's working on could help film companies with about a third of the cost of some activities - especially those that help make sure dollars spent on movie-making remain in Michigan.

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