A redux edition of Michigan’s failed taxpayer funded film subsidy program passed out of committee this week.

Michigan taxpayers spent $500 million on its previous version of the film tax subsidy between 2008 and 2015, which netted the state 11 cents for each taxpayer dollar spent. According to the Senate Fiscal Agency, Michigan lost 89 cents for every dollar spent.

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Despite the previous program’s dismal results, House Bill 4908 was introduced last summer, and passed the House Economic and Small Business Development Committee on Wednesday.

The bill was introduced by Reps. John Roth, R-Interlochen, and Jason Hoskins, D-Southfield, and is co-sponsored by a bipartisan group of legislators.

“I’m proud to spearhead the bipartisan multimedia incentive plan with my colleague Jason Hoskins, D-Southfield, to make projects like these happen,” Roth said. “Through multimedia, we are making a good-faith attempt to bring business and people to Michigan.”

He continued: “Our plan would re-establish the Michigan Film Office and create a transferable tax credit for Michigan-based projects. To be eligible, companies would have to keep track of the individuals they hire from the state to work on the project, maintain Michigan receipts and which vendors they work with and other economic data. After 10 years, the program would end unless lawmakers agree to extend it.”

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The Committee received letters of support for the bills, mostly from film industry professionals.

Other support came in the form of an X post from Sen. Dayna Polehanki, D-Livonia, who also has several film credits of her own as a casting director.

Roth also has connections to the film industry, testifying before the Committee in February that his daughter is a film production student at Grand Valley State University. He said the daughter will likely move to South Carolina after graduation to live with her grandparents while she seeks to launch her film career.

James Hohman, director of fiscal policy at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, said film producers under the 2008-2015 program received 42 cents for each dollar spent making movies and television programs in Michigan.

“Michigan lawmakers are voting to take over $2 billion from taxpayers to give to movie producers,” he said in a statement. “The changes made to the program demonstrate that its sponsors learned all the wrong lessons from its $500 million failure the last time around. The rest of the Legislature should recognize that there are better ways to improve the state economy.”

Hohman noted the proposed film tax subsidies would put taxpayers on the hook for as much as 30% of the cost of making a film.

“There are some differences on how the subsidies are distributed to production companies, notably that this program requires payments to be laundered through other companies’ tax returns,” he said. “But this is a distinction without a difference to taxpayers, the film producers and the overall economic effects.”