Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Movie News: Jon Favreau on Tax Breaks and Business Incentives

Well, whaddya know? Somebody's figured out that tax breaks might be good for staying competitive and for keeping businesses from running away. More here, with blurb:
"Iron Man" director Jon Favreau and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger have become unexpected partners in a push to create tax breaks for film and television shows in an effort to keep their production in California, a political cause that has very little traction with state lawmakers and, to the governor's chagrin, even less footing in celebrity fundraising circles.

There's been a 40% decline in the number of film production days shot on location in Los Angeles since 1997, and the stampede east by the makers of high-profile projects is intensifying after New York Gov. David Paterson signed a bill in April delivering a lush new package of incentives.

There are about 40 states that covet Hollywood business enough to offer tax breaks and rebates that can significantly reduce overall production costs for a movie or TV show. The local economy in these states benefits by hosting the productions, which spend money on labor and materials, hotels and restaurants, and a host of other things. Michigan, Mississippi and Georgia have recently put incentives into place, and New York's new program give a 30% tax rebate on a production's "below-the-line" costs -- generally, expenses not related to the cast, writer, producer, director, stunts and story rights.
The whole thing is capitalism, free markets, and the entrepreneurial impulse at their most vibrant -- plus the result is a boost to the local economy. I guess, then, that I shouldn't be too surprised that Cali state lawmakers and the entrenched, committed-to-the-left elite don't want any part of it. They're living in their own little ideological bubble.

Anyway, aside from my delight with Jon Favreau and his work on the "Iron Man" franchise, I'm also posting this so I can declare my new delight at his sensible view on real-world economic policy. Oh, plus I really want to say, with a lingering, loving, purring sigh, the words TAX BREAKS. And INCENTIVES.

Mmmmmmmmmmmm . . . TAX BREAKS. Better than donuts.

UPDATE: A bit more here on Favreau and keeping "Iron Man" production in Cali - or, in Ahnoldspeak, Cah-lee-fohr-nee-yah.

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