Stomping Out the Carpet

It was a minor thing, but I opted for a detour, on my way through Newport after work, yesterday, to avoid some movie filming off Bellevue, and it seemed parking in the neighborhood was somewhat more tight than usual. I can well imagine, that is to say, how the Hollywoodsters could disrupt a town for a while. Still, if municipalities are to be compensated for that, legislation put forward by Senator Paul Jabour (D, Providence) is unnecessarily complicated and (to my knowledge) invests the Rhode Island Council on the Arts with a new, not necessarily appropriate, responsibility:

The legislation would impose a 1-percent tax on the gross revenue of films produced in the state. Revenue from the tax on each film would be divided among the Rhode Island cities and towns in which the movie was filmed, allocated in proportion to the amount of money the production company spent in that municipality. The Rhode Island Council on the Arts would be in charge of distributing the funds collected through the tax.

Many Anchor Rising readers are nonplussed, no doubt, by state leaders’ concentration on movie-making as a desirable industry to attract to Rhode Island (although there is something mildly neat about its presence). Still, Jabour’s bill seems practically designed for maximal dampening of the trend. Why can’t cities and towns simply charge an up-front fee to cover police and general disruption?

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16 years ago

You can’t depend on entertainment industry accounting – it may be the only accounting more fundamentally dishonest than our legislators’ accounting. In essence, you’d need a state organization that tracked the box office of any movie made in Rhode Island. For how long? Do you expect residuals when it goes to DVD, then to cable, then to the stores and finally to free TV? Is the tax pro-rated for movies filmed only partially in RI? If you think that the industry will accept an undetermined amount of tax levied over an unknown period of time, you need to stop huffing spray paint.
Just when you think they can’t possibly come up with a dumber idea, our Smith Hill Banditos manage to outdo themselves. Bless their pointy little heads.

16 years ago

So on the one hand, they want to give the movie industry in Rhode Island tax breaks. And on the other, they want to tax it 1%?
Let’s see. Subtract the tax breaks from these line items (but not these). Add the new 1% tax to the whole sheh-bang. Now divvy it up among those cities who hosted a movie last year. (Woonsocket did … or was it Warwick? Started with a “W”. And Providence. No, wait, Providence was the year before …) Seriously, the accounting industry is behind these dualing proposals, right?

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