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?