The Marc Steiner Show

Luring Hollywood: Debating Film Tax Credits

A look at the practice of using tax credits to lure film industries to locate their productions in Maryland.

Federal Hillywood?

Remember when we found out that the movie of the musical version of the film Hairspray wouldn’t be filled in Baltimore, but rather in Toronto, Canada? Many people were outraged. And the film Annapolis–that was shot in Philadelphia.

Some industry experts, like Jack Gerbes of the Maryland Film Office, argue that there is a substantial return on the
investment in the industry with incentives. Proponents of incentives say we could be more aggressive in the tax credits we offer to film productions, including rebates and sales tax exemptions. They point to the hundreds of millions of dollars these productions spend with local vendors and employing Maryland residents as the benefits of having them here.

But other people, like Sheldon Laskin, an adjunct professor of state and local tax in the Graduate Tax Program at the University of Baltimore Law School, believe that film tax credits are not the best policy. He says that it is a mistake to invest in a production that will be here for only a finite amount of time and will not offer long-term economic benefit.

Jack Gerbes and Sheldon Laskin sat down with Marc Steiner to argue view on this issue. Please note the correction appended to the end of the podcast.

Further reading:

 

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Written by Marc Steiner

Marc Steiner

The Marc Steiner Show airs Monday thru Friday from 10AM to Noon on WEAA 88.9 FM. The show covers the topics that matter, engaging real voices, from Charm City to Cairo and beyond. Call us at 410.319.8888 or email us to participate live in the show, or share your comments on our site! Aren’t in Baltimore but want to listen? Stream the show live.


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