Film Subsidies: Alaska and Michigan Opt Out


New Mexico’s political establishment continues to cling to entertainment-industry tax credits as critical “economic development.” (The evidence strongly suggests that subsidizing Hollywood doesn’t boost the state’s economy, but let’s leave that trifling fact aside for now.)

This week, two states decided that movie-and-television corporatism isn’t for them.

Alaska’s governor, staring down a state fiscal crisis, signed legislation that repealed the Last Frontier’s program. State Sen. Bill Stoltze (R-Chugiak) noted that the tax credits had “done some good things to different communities around Alaska,” but “had a pretty heavy cost to our treasury.”

On Thursday, the Detroit Free Press reported that “the state Senate voted … to end incentives for the film industry and phase out funding for the state’s film office and the House quickly concurred in the action.” In comments that surely enraged noted economist and public-policy analyst Mitch Albom, Rep. Dan Lauwers (R-Brockway Twp.) declared that it was time to “time to drop the curtain on this failed experiment,” in favor of “funding our transportation system.” It’s now up to the Wolverine State’s governor to decide whether to follow legislators’ lead.