Policast: Film board wants $10 million to lure projects

Policast for March 7, 2013:

Actor Josh Hartnett was among those testifying at the state Capitol yesterday as the state’s film and TV production industry pushes for an increase in incentives designed to attract projects to Minnesota.

In the last biennium, about $1 million to fund incentives for film and TV projects came from the Legacy Amendment. But the film board is proposing an increase to $10 million, which would come from the state’s general fund.

Lucinda Winter, executive director of the Minnesota Film and TV Board, said on MPR’s Policast that incentives are “really true, pure economic development.”

“It’s really become a tool used by just about all the states, there are nine states that don’t have an incentive, and we are lagging far, far behind,” Winter said. “Not only are we not seeing growth, but we’re seeing contraction in our industry.”

The Tax Foundation, a conservative non-profit critical of the effectiveness of incentives, released a report in 2011 that found state production incentives had ballooned from $1 million in 2001 to $1.299 billion a decade later.

The board also wants to increase the top reimbursement level for film productions to 25 percent.

Policast is a daily roundup of Minnesota political news hosted by Mike Mulcahy and Cathy Wurzer. Subscribe on iTunes. The entire discussion with Lucinda Winter can be heard on the March 6, 2013 episode.