The New York Times is reporting that more than $27M of the $167M budget of the new Fincher movie, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was refunded to the filmmakers via tax credits by the state of Louisiana. This is not cast in a positive light:
Already on the hook for billions to bail out Wall Street, taxpayers are also finding themselves stuck with a growing tab for state programs intended to increase local film production.
One of the most shocking bills has come due in Louisiana, where residents are financing a hefty share of Brad Pitt’s next movie — $27,117,737, to be exact, which the producers will receive by cashing or selling off valuable tax credits.
Of course, from an indie perspective, a lot of these credits require too large of budgets to take advantage of and help productions that don’t need them. On the other hand, all the state should be trying to do is encourage business in the state. As the article even points out, New Mexico’s credits seem to have great success and really fostered a filmmaking community where there wasn’t one before.
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