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Wed November 18, 2009
MI House panels debate film credits
By Laura Weber, Michigan Public Radio Network
LANSING, MI –
State lawmakers took testimony from film industry insiders Wednesday as debate over economic growth continues at the Capitol.
Republican state Representative Pete Lund has led the battle cry in the state House against handing out refundable tax credits to attract filmmakers.
"Is it working?," he asks. "Well of course it's working - we're paying 40% of their bills."
Lund says the film industry shouldn't be given special treatment over other businesses in the state. But Mike Manasseri from Big Screen Michigan told Lund that without the tax incentives, the film industry wouldn't be here to bring money into the state, create jobs and invigorate communities.
"You don't even want it! I get it!," he says. "But, a lot of people do."
Manasseri told lawmakers the state made a promise to not touch the tax credits for a few years, and people heading up the industry are wary of a state that is already discussing pulling the credits back after 18 months.