At the top: Michigan’s proposed 40% cash rebate surpasses all states offering film incentives

With lightning speed, Michigan has caught over and will overtake competitive states with what Michigan Film Office director Janet Lockwood calls “possibly the country’s best incentive package.”

Overnight Michigan would become the top film incentive state with its spectacular 40% cash rebate on all qualified film expenses ? the biggest incentive of by any U.S. state.

Currently in the draft writing stage, if the incentives bill speeds through the state legislature, as Lockwood anticipates, it could be enacted as soon as April 1, 2008.

P The timing would be ideal for Lockwood to announce the incentives with great fanfare at the IFO locations trade show April 10-12 in Santa Monica.

“If I were a betting person, I’d bet 98% of my paycheck the bill will pass,” Lockwood says. Helping cover her bet is the staunch support of Gov. Jennifer Granholm, who is betting hard on the economic benefits that will accrue to the troubled state from film production.

Michigan’s new incentives basically would replace its existing rebates of one year, a sliding 12%-20% scale that was only introduced in 2007; lower the threshold from the existing $200,000 to $50,000; remove caps on salaries for individuals, rebate an additional 2% when filming in certain “core areas” and provide other benefits.