“Body of Proof” Flips Paiva-Weed on tax credits
The upcoming, filmed in Rhode Island, ABC show Body of Proof (starring Dana Delaney and Jeri Ryan) was feted at the State House today. Both Delaney and Ryan extolled the virtues of the Ocean State while executive producer Matt Gross explained that it was the tax credits that brought the production to Rhode Island:
“Having produced ten feature films and 200 hours of television all over the United States and out of the country, I can tell you this has been my best experience to date,” said executive producer Matt Gross. “The state supports the needs of production like no other I have ever been to.”
Gross credited the film and television production tax incentive — which provides a 25 percent transferable credit for all related spending in Rhode Island — with drawing the project to Rhode Island.
According to the ProJo report, “The tax breaks cost the state nearly $10.1 million in fiscal year 2009, for example, according to the state Budget Office.” Of course, that’s “cost the state” insofar as you accept the faulty premise that the production would have come to RI without the tax incentive in the first place! In reality, the filming has generated both revenue and a convert:
The production has generated more than $30 million of revenue in Rhode Island and has led to the creation of about 170 (temporary) full-time jobs, said State senate president Teresa Paiva Weed….”I was one of the skeptics when the film tax credits came out … but have come … to be a real believer because we now know that it works,” said Paiva Weed. “A recent study showed that the film tax credit generates $8 for every $1 of investment from our state. And I don’t think there’s a better investment that also builds on our tourism industry.”
Hm. I guess the proof was in the “Body.” (Sorry, couldn’t resist). Too bad our political readers can’t extrapolate from here and realize what would happen if you made broad-based, business friendly tax incentives instead of just ones that appeal to this or that niche.