Phred Barnet has a criticism of tax incentives — as opposed to tax reform — up at the web site of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation .
The column includes these paragraphs on state tax breaks for the movie industry:
In Georgia, a new law gives the entertainment industry tax credits for up to 30 percent of production and post-production expenditures. Proponents argue that if Georgia does not do so, it will lose out to other states. This mentality leads to bidding wars that end up offering more and more incentives to the entertainment industry.
Former North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Bob Orr recently complained that “the industry has been able to play off North Carolina against South Carolina against Louisiana against Georgia. Louisiana raises its incentives, and it puts pressure on South Carolina, North Carolina and other states to do likewise.” In fact, only weeks after losing the new Miley Cyrus film to Georgia, North Carolina’s State Senate moved to increase their tax breaks for entertainers from 15 percent to 25 percent.
The chief economist for Louisiana’s legislative fiscal office, Greg Albrecht, estimates that in 2006, Louisiana gave the entertainment industry about $121 million in tax credits, but that only around 18 percent of that money was ever recovered in economic activity and taxes. He denounced the programs as “an expensive way to create jobs,” maintaining that “there’s no way you can say this makes money for the public.”
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