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Detroit senator hoping to bring major films back to Michigan with tax incentives

Film
Posted at 5:33 AM, Mar 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-02 08:06:28-05

(WXYZ) — The push to bring back film incentives is moving through the Michigan State Capitol.

One of the leads in this effort is state Senator Adam Hollier of Detroit.

"Either we are going to be competitive or we're not. We've invested in the auto industry. We should be doing the same in the film industry," Hollier said.

During the movie boom in 2012, the Motown Motion Picture Studios were built in Pontiac. The building is no longer filming movies after being sold in 2018.

"I think the pandemic has shown us that our economy has shifted to a service sector and what we saw was that movies never stopped production," Hollier said.

If the bills are passed, it will make two levels of tax credit that would provide incentives for anything produced in Michigan. This ranges from commercials to streaming productions.

"These streaming services are looking to set up shop in places that are business-friendly and people-friendly, and Michigan provides all of that," set electrician Brian Kelly said.

Kelly has worked on major films like Transformers and Superman when they filmed in Michigan.

"This supports a lot of blue-collar jobs. A lot of us just want to be in this industry and work in our own states," he said.

Right now more than 39 states offer some type of incentive to film in their states. Michigan does not, thus putting the state at a disadvantage.

These new bills will give advantages to state-based companies who hire Michigan workers.

The bills include:

  • A 25% base tax credit with an additional 5% awarded for the inclusion of a "Filmed in Michigan" logo
  • A commitment from production companies to spend at least 5$0K per commercial and $300K for productions over 20 min
  • A 30% tax credit for hiring Michigan residents and 20 % for non-residents

"This is opportunity. I mean we spend so much time talking about how we are going to be keeping young folks in the state. How we are going to attract and retain and make Michigan the place that people want to go and so much of that comes down to innovation," Hollier said.