No, no, and a thousand times no. Gov. Doyle has proposed eliminating the tax incentives for film productions in the state and offering a $500,000 grant in their stead.
And just when I was actually feeling mildly impressed by his new budget proposal, too. But hey, no one's perfect: that's why us uppity citizens are here to call Doyle and other elected officials out when they start spoutin' nonsense.
At first blush, it may seem like a good idea to limit tax breaks in the midst of a recession, but the film industry has already proved itself as something that creates jobs and brings millions of dollars in revenue to the state. It would be downright foolhardy to get rid of that now, just 13 months after first making the incentives available and after years of fighting to get them in place at all.
The upfront investment in film productions by the state leads to longer term benefits. It offers local industry professionals an opportunity to work near home instead of having to go to California. It creates jobs. And it brings cash to everything from hotels and restaurants to locations picked for filming and businesses that rent cars, do catering, etc.
So no, Gov. Doyle, now is not the time to cut out those tax incentives. It's tempting to start slashing and burning in the face of economic crisis, but that sort of tactic can often lead to the accidental chopping down of perfectly fruitful trees. Put down your axe.
(photo by gnecoffee on Flickr)