(WLNS) – A House committee, over the objections of the Teamster’s union, has voted to eliminate the so-called Hollywood film tax credit. 6 News Capitol correspondent Tim Skubick assesses the future of the program that began in 2008.
Created during the Gov. Granholm administration, the state has shelled out $500 million in Hollywood tax credits.
With the Teamsters Union looking on, this Republican-controlled House committee voted to repeal the $50 million credit the governor had in this year’s budget. One Teamster, identified only as Dean, voiced his displeasure. “Their agenda is to run work out of Michigan. These are great paying jobs with good benefits. It doesn’t make sense.”
The two sides disagree on whether the credits have worked. The unions say yes. But House GOP speaker Rep. Kevin Cotter says no. “I don’t believe its providing a return for what we are putting into it. We have other needs and we could use that money elsewhere.”
The sponsor of the repealer argues with the state facing a deficit because of current tax credits, it’s irresponsible to dole out even more. State Rep. Dan Lauwers says “There’s a lot of people who need money but its irresponsible to continue to add to that in the future and we can’t afford that right now as it is.”
Democrats in the House support the tax hike and want to slow down the process so a more objective method is adopted to determine if movie jobs are being created. “I think we need an objective standard and we should not rush to judgement on this and make a decision based on job creations,” said State Rep. Tim Greimel.
The unions contend the Republicans never gave the program a chance to work and now it may cost some their work. A Teamster member, who identified himself as Mike, says, “If they repeal it, I don’t work. It’s that simple.”
The repeal will likely pass in the House but the final act in the senate, is yet to be written.