By a 38-6 vote, yesterday the state Senate approved a bill that includes a new “grant” program (read: taxpayer giveaway) to Hollywood film studios. Tax credits for film production are set to expire at the end of this year, but rather than allow this corporate welfare scheme to sunset, legislators are seeking to repackage it instead as a grant program.
The grant program initiative is tucked away as part of a larger bill – SB 743 – that primarily addresses a re-organization of some of the state’s economic development efforts. A summary of the film production grant program proposal is provided in this N&O article.
Hollywood film studios have deep pockets to pay lobbyists to cozy up to legislators in order to attain political privileges for their industry. Meanwhile, those businesses without political clout are placed at a competitive disadvantage by not having access to tax credits or “grants,” and face higher tax rates to pay for the corporate welfare programs.