Some state lawmakers yell 'cut' on TV, film tax credits

It was created 8 years ago with the promise of bringing new jobs to Michigan but the Hollywood Film tax credit may get cut after a House committee votes to eliminate it.

Created during former Gov. Jennifer Granholm's administration, the state has shelled out $500 million in Hollywood tax credits since it was implemented in 2008. 

And now the Republican-controlled House committee has voted to kill it. The committee voted to repeal the $50 million credit the governor had in this year's budget.

"Their agenda is to run work out of Michigan," said teamster's union member Dean, who declined to give his last name. "These are great paying jobs with health care. 

"Why would you want to run high-paying good jobs out of the state of Michigan. So we can have more minimum wage jobs. It doesn't make sense."

The two sides disagree. The union is saying it creates jobs, The House speaker is not convinced it is.

"I don't believe it is providing a return for the amount of money we've put into it over what is now a period of years," said State Rep. Kevin Cotter (R-Mount Pleasant). "I think we could use that money elsewhere."

The sponsor of the repeal argues with the state facing a deficit because of current tax credits, it's irresponsible to dole out even more.

"We have a number of state tax credits that are coming due in the next several years up to the tune of $9 billion dollars," said Rep. Dan Lauwers (R-Brockway Twp.). "I just think that it's irresponsible to continue adding new tax incentives to a business when we don't know where we're going to get the money to pay for the old tax incentives that have already been given out."

Democrats support the tax credits and want to slow down the process of killing them.

"I think we need an objective standard and we should apply it uniformly," said Democratic House Leader, Rep. Tim Greimel (D-Auburn Hills). "We shouldn't just rush to judgement on any one industry."

Unions contend that state Republicans never gave the program a chance to work. Now it may cost some of them their jobs.

"They repeal it and I don't work, it's that simple," said Mike from the teamster's union.

The repeal will likely pass in the House but the final act in the Senate, is yet to be written. 

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