Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Michael Moore's Anti-Greed Film May Receive Michigan Tax Credit

The liberal documentary filmmaker Michael Moore has been a critic of state tax credits for Hollywood films, but did one of his own films benefit from one of those credits in his home state of Michigan?

It seems so, according to a report by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research and educational institute focusing on issues in Michigan.

The state offers refundable tax credits of up to 42 percent to film productions for shooting movies and spending money in Michigan -- an incentive similar to one offered by numerous other states to entice Hollywood and bolster the local economy.

Moore's production has qualified to receive a tax credit from Michigan, the film office told the Mackinac Center, once the state Treasury Department reviews and approves the application. It wasn't immediately clear how much money the film qualified for.

Any amount of taxpayer subsidy is a potential black eye for Moore, who argued emphatically in "Capitalism: A Love Story" that Wall Street banks and other big companies didn't deserve the bailout money they received from the federal government as the economy was tanking.

"While we don't blame Mr. Moore and his production team for taking what is offered, it's striking that a movie focused on the inequities of granting taxpayer dollars to private enterprise would apply for and receive taxpayer-funded incentives," said Michael LaFaive, fiscal policy director at the Mackinac Center.

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