And just when I thought something good was going to come out of the legislature.
On Monday, the Senate seemed to kill a bill designed to reauthorize the motion picture (movie/film) tax credit package. These are tax credits that have done nothing for the state other than cost it millions of dollars.
But Sen. John Nelson (R-Dist. 12), the sponsor of this boondoggle, convinced Republican Senators Dave Braswell (R-Dist. 6) and Sen. Linda Gray (R-Dist. 10) to switch their votes from ‘no’ to ‘yes.’
So, here’s what Braswell and Linda Gray support: higher taxes on us to pay for credits for movie producers. But, you ask, at least these movie producers create jobs and tax revenues that benefit all of us Arizona taxpayers, right?
According to the Arizona Department of Commerce, Arizona taxpayers came up $6 million short on the cost-benefit analysis. We handed out $8 million in credits and received $2 million in added revenues.
What a boondoggle. And we’re not the only ones. According to Josh Barro, Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute:
A 2008 study from the College of Charleston looked at South Carolina’s film incentive program and found that it generated only 19 cents in tax revenue for every dollar in rebates given to filmmakers. Contrary to film boosters’ rhetoric, these programs impose significant costs on state coffers.
How about we all agree that politicians don’t have a sixth sense when it comes to economic development?
Let’s get serious about tax and budget policy (at least for a little while).
Let’s hope the House kills this total waste of a program.