Michigan’s $25 mm film incentives in jeopardy – again

“Oz: The Great and Power” shot in Michigan last year

Michigan film incentives are in suspended animation, so to speak, as the state House of Representatives approved a plan that would end the current $25 million incentives and give the money to local road projects instead, the Detroit News reported.

This would be an effort to help everyone by fixing roads and not just a few, one representative said.

Senate approval is still needed and the two plans would be merged into one workable plan for Gov. Rick Snyder to sign.  When he took office two years ago, Snyder killed Michigan’s previously highly-rated incentives that brought $300 million in film spend to the state, up from $2 million,

The film incentives didn’t get killed, they just got wounded, said Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, R-Monroe, a big proponent of not only keeping the incentives but raising the cap to $50 million.  “It’s a very, very important thing for the state of Michigan.”

“We believe at least the $25 million would be intact for the next budget year,” said Mark Adler, director of the Michigan Production Alliance. “If that’s not the case, it would be difficult to maintain the kind of industry we want to have in Michigan, the kind of industry that would help diversify the state’s economy.”

Ironically, the new development arrives as entertainment films arrived to jack up the industry.  Three high-profile projects that are shooting in metro Detroit this spring: the new AMC series “Low Winter Sun,” the fourth “Transformers” movie and the Ryan Gosling-directed “How to Catch a Monster.”