In an attempt to try to close the New York State deficit, Gov. David Patterson threatened to cancel the 35% tax credit for films shot in the Big Apple.
Upon hearing this, ultra left-wing liberal Alec Baldwin replied: "I'm telling you right now, if these tax breaks are not reinstated into the budget, film production in this town is going to collapse, and television is going to collapse and it's all going to go to California."
Believe it or not, Mr. Baldwin's views are shared across the movie industry, which has lobbyists pleading in state capitals across the country for most-favored-tax status. The reality is that Hollywood productions are highly mobile and can film just about anywhere. So they have taken to shopping around the country -- and the world -- for the most lucrative tax avoidance deal. YES, TAX AVOIDANCE DEAL.
The Hollywood studios are ruthless capitalists and are expert at playing state suitors against one another. In the midst of California's recent $42 billion budget showdown, producers threatened to leave the state if the legislature didn't offer more inducements. So lawmakers in Sacramento capitulated and gave the industry a new $250 million deal to stay put.
The Motion Picture Production and Distribution industry last year gave $14 million in political contributions: 89% went to pro-tax Democrats.
TOH to the WSJ