Embedded In The Fiscal Cliff Deal: Hollywood Gets A Big Tax Break

from the how-nice dept

Last month, we wrote about some of the more ridiculous subsidies that Hollywood studios get these days, in which approximately $1.5 billion in taxpayer money goes straight to Hollywood studios in the US (and even more internationally). While the reasoning given for most of these programs is that they create jobs, a thorough study of the various programs showed that almost never happens. Of course, most of those programs have been state subsidies. The federal government also has its own subsidies for Hollywood -- and they just got renewed in the fiscal cliff deal, despite being scheduled to expire.

It's one of the head scratchers that some noted would take people by surprise given all of the talk about the "fiscal cliff." Here's what it looks like:
Like many such things, this started out with good intentions, with the idea being to help small, independent films stay in the US. But that changed:
The original tax incentive applied to productions costing less than $15 million to make ($20 million in low-income areas). The 2008 extension applies to all films, up to a deduction of $15 million (or $20 million in low-income areas). The incentive is especially generous to television series; it applies to each TV episode.
Apparently, this sucker costs the American taxpayer about $150 million per year. As that link notes, "Disney's Gotta Eat." Yes, this was just one of many such "pork" efforts slipped into the fiscal cliff deal -- along with things like providing Goldman Sachs subsidies for its headquarters, special breaks for NASCAR, tax benefits for Puerto Rican Rum, and more -- so perhaps it's not that surprising. But, it's stories like this that explain why so few people trust Congress, and why they're fed up with "crony capitalism."

Filed Under: fiscal cliff, hollywood, movies, pork, subsidies, tax breaks

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    Mr. Applegate, 3 Jan 2013 @ 11:12am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: How did the President escape blame?

    I don't disagree with what you are saying about who is ultimately responsible. Ultimately it is the responsibility of the congress.

    However, I think if you look at the history of orders coming from the office of the president over the last 40 years, you will see that more and more things that should be decided by legislation are allowed to be decreed by EO.

    Nature abhors a vacuum, and since congress is, in most cases, incapable of action these days the president (and to some degree the courts) step in to fill the void left by the inaction of congress.

    I say throw them all out. In fact I do more than say it, in fact I voted for no incumbents in the last federal elections and only 1 in the prior federal election. However, that will make little difference since something like 75% of the districts are rigged so that it is virtually impossible for the incumbent to lose. Therefore the incumbent has nothing to fear from the constituents they are supposed to serve.

    Add to that that most people vote how they are told to either by the unions or the church and well, there you are.

    There really isn't any way to hold them responsible. They are very well insulated from the people they are supposed to serve.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: Techdirt Logo Gear
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.