Sunday, June 14, 2015

Selling Tax Breaks

  • Chicago has become Hollywood on Lake Michigan, captivating residents and tourists alike who gawk at celebrities filming movies like “Transformers” and TV shows like “Chicago Fire.”

    State officials say filming has been an economic boon, with production companies spending an estimated $2.8 billion on Illinois goods, services and wages for actors and other workers over the past seven years.

    That’s come at a price. Taxpayers stand to lose $204 million because of tax breaks the state gave to 931 movies, TV shows and commercials between July 1, 2008, and Dec. 11, 2014, under the Illinois Film Production Services Tax Credit Program, records show.
Here's an amusing revelation we were unaware of:
  • Many filmmakers have cashed in by selling those tax credits to businesses including Meijer, Kohl’s and Apple, as well as to a handful of individuals, among them Oprah Winfrey, who get to deduct the credits from corporate and personal income taxes they pay the state.
These things are portable? We figured the movie companies were getting tax breaks on purchases and leases and such, but not that they were selling them. Can they sell these for a profit? And to individuals and companies that don't maintain a sizable corporate presence here? Apple? Oprah? Someone care to explain how much we're subsidizing people/corporations who seldom spend a dime here? We aren't geniuses, but we aren't completely dense.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

They sell the tax credits at a discount for cash, happens all the time, Look at the historical tax credits issued to renovate real estate, Same thing,

6/14/2015 12:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Greed, thou are a democrat politician.

6/14/2015 12:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why? Shortshanks wouldn't allow a local company to build an anchor studio here saying there was "Mob Money" involved. He droved out the local businesses like movie equipment, prop and costume companies by a equipment rental tax. Some companies folded and some moved to Canada.

Then a Canadian company was formed, (probably a Daley/Vanecko venture) called Cinespace and they came in and took over the old Ryerson Steel Works.

Now it isn't local people running the show. It's all a bunch of outsiders.

6/14/2015 12:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And Spike Lee wants to drop a few million on the Chicago economy with his new film.

6/14/2015 12:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In reading the Sun-Times article I have a question.

If I work off duty for a movie company as an actor or on the Movie Detail can I get a credit and not pay state of Illinois Income Taxes on the earnings?

If its good enough for Oprah, then...

6/14/2015 01:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why not just auction the tax credits off to the highest bidder?

6/14/2015 03:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These fuckers will buy and sell anything.

Don't you do that though!

6/14/2015 05:25:00 AM  
Blogger Johnny said...

The whole tax code is a bloody ripoff. People of wealth, if they want to work at it, can get around most taxation. If you want to know how far it can go, look up what the Clintons have gotten away with using their charity. It is the 'little people' who earn a salary, like coppers and similar types' who pay the most in their rate category. If people in unions knew what they are doing and could pass it on to their leadership, it would be the end of support for all these big gov handout programs because salary workers pay in way more than they get out.

6/14/2015 08:02:00 AM  
Blogger Mr. SouthSide said...

They have a nice little scam going on there. Don't rock the boat.

6/14/2015 08:05:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SCC, are you saying tax breaks are a bad thing?

6/14/2015 08:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Heartless Taxpayer said...


They are portable? Sellable? How can that be? So where is mine?

That is TOTALLY unacceptable! Who dreamt up that BS?

Keep voting Democrat.

6/14/2015 08:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rahm got paid $18 million for sitting on his ass. Michelle Obama was getting $330 thousand for a no show job at the University of Chicago.

Nothing in this town is untouched by the corruption of these politicians. We need term limits to rid us of the entrenched thieves that are killing this city.

6/14/2015 09:31:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shouldn't come as a surprise we the working class have no voice in Government with the exception of HELP !

6/14/2015 09:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stealing pensions and funding corporate handouts.

6/14/2015 10:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is fucked up on so many levels....

--No Cop Here

6/14/2015 11:32:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rahm and Potato Head Quinn have been giving these tax breaks away for years to curry favor with his Hollywood brother and the one-per-centers who are millionaires and own the Hollywood studios. Meanwhile there is a percentage of able-bodied men and women who refuse to work because the government gives them everything for free as well as a large percentage of undocumented illegal aliens who work for cash and also collect free government money from illegally obtained fraudulent documents including income tax returns that dwarf those of hard working tax paying Americans. So when our city runs out of money they start the talk of a city income tax. They also state that they can't pay their contractual obligations for pensions. But they can sure find money to give away if your are a democratic voter or a well connected one-percenter. They can't safeguard the money they collect from us but when they run out they just get legislation passed so they can legally steal more of our income under the guise of taxes. I'm sure if you're a republican you can totally understand this but are there any die hard Democrats that think these practices are really what our founding fathers had envisioned for us as Americans.

6/14/2015 11:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, liberal Hollywood isn't paying their fair share? But, they are the champions of increased taxes to help the poor.

6/14/2015 11:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another set of numbers in the equation as to how/why
Chicago is a pit of corruption where taxpayer treasure
is accelerated at astounding velocity once it is forcefully
vacuumed from taxpayer pockets...

Is it possible to distill/compile a before/after list of individuals
and entities obscenely enriched to the detriment of the people
who pay the freight to make Chicago go?

We can start from Crime King Shorty's inauguration until now...

Much political and media capital is being expended to make the
false "We're Hemorrhaging Money Cuz Greedy Cops and Their Union
Won't Take Pay/Benefit/Pension Cuts To Help Out" narrative.


Our pay/benefit/pensions actually constitute the merest of pennies
to the dollar of the economic engine that is Chicago.

The campaign against The Police and all their cares and concerns
is a vicious, cynical, entirely unnecessary and a big diversion to
what is really going on.

You so called "investigative reporters" at all the media outlets would
rather continue to riotously rot after dying your collective dishonorable deaths.

So to speak...
No threat inferred or implied.

Stand by...
Rahm is soon going to release another "list" for you
to beat on CPD with to boost your circulation numbers
and maybe stave off the Koch Boys from grabbing the
mattress and flipping you complicit bastards onto the floor.

Do an Op-Ed on that, you knee-walkers.

6/14/2015 12:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedies."

--Groucho Marx

6/14/2015 12:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

City Hall to borrow $1.1 billion. The money would also go toward costs including $62 million court judgement stemming from former King Daley's approval of a parking garage at the Aqua building that violated the city's long term lease. (Page 16) Tribune. That's about the cost of a new park that was just completed to honor the crooks. Daley family is the gift that just keeps giving!

6/14/2015 12:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My tax write off for living in the city is deleted
by rising water fees, vehicle stickers, parking meters and insurance rates that have no bearing on my absence of claims.
Where's our incentive to live and work here?
When the cockroaches live S'Puke Lee come to town and spread a couple dollars here and there, they leave with more than they gave.
Yet with all that "economic influx" why is Rahmmeroid borrowing a billion dollars to pay bills?

6/14/2015 12:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And we gotta do ethics statements! Such BS!

6/14/2015 01:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reform of these portable tax credits is a good idea. There are lots of good ideas out there. But if too many people focus on TMZ, fantasy football, and Dancing With The Celebrity Chefs nothing gets done.

Try this test on people of any age group nowadays
Q:1 How many American Idol contestants can you name ?
Q2: How many Supreme Court justices can you name ?

We get the government we deserve folks.

6/14/2015 01:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Rahm got paid $18 million for sitting on his ass. Michelle Obama was getting $330 thousand for a no show job at the University of Chicago.

Nothing in this town is untouched by the corruption of these politicians. We need term limits to rid us of the entrenched thieves that are killing this city.

6/14/2015 09:31:00 AM

Fuck Term limits.

I want a hunting license. And I don't care if your Dem or Rep or Indy.

6/14/2015 01:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Tax EVASION is illegal. Tax AVOIDANCE is legal.

You just have to have the right political friends to write the laws to suite your purpose.

6/14/2015 01:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not like the city needs the money..... not like there's underfunded pensions everywhere.
Rahm couldn't care less about our pension funds because he despises first responders and begrudges our pension system.
We've seen historically that if the arrogant asshole Rahm doesn't like or agree with something he simply doesn't abide by it.

6/14/2015 02:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oprah?? Can someone tell me what she has done for the City of Chicago and the less fortunate residents? I have yet to hear of anything substantial that she has done despite her making her bones in this city. As I recall Brown of the Scum times did an article on her when she pulled up stakes for the West coast and stated Oprah did nothing for the poor of this city.With her kind of money she could have gotten a production factory to move to the West side and provide jobs for hundreds of people. By the way. Where are the black owned businesses, factories and such in this city?

6/14/2015 03:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of arts and entertainment, consider the irony of Rahm Emanuel meeting with Yoko Ono. Two of the most unpopular people imaginable. Ono was credited with the break up of the Beatles. Emanuel will bankrupt Chicago.

6/14/2015 03:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like the deal with link cards. Sell them for 50 cents on the dollar cash money.

6/14/2015 03:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

$2.4 billions compares to $204 million. How is the state losing money?

6/14/2015 07:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This crap goes on with the lower class folk who use other people's kids as tax deductions. The IRS knows about this scam and does NOTHiNG.

6/14/2015 08:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I was driving past Western-Irving this afternoon. There is a BP gas station on the NE corner. Some guy worked something out and set up a sports gear stand right there. He is selling a little Cubs crap and lots of Blackhawks stuff. Hanging prominently on the side of the stand facing Western is a large sign:


So if you see some shithead family and they all have Blackhawks stuff, it might be thanks to their taxpayer supported LINK Card. Is this a damn great country or what?

More and more of the Democrats are purported to be Blackhawks fans. One of the attractions of going to bars and the games themselves has been the almost complete lack of the basketball bouncing crown. And now... Oh well, my old neighborhood was a great working class area. Was, but is no longer.

6/14/2015 10:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

>>>Anonymous said...
This crap goes on with the lower class folk who use other people's kids as tax deductions. The IRS knows about this scam and does NOTHiNG.

6/14/2015 08:57:00 PM<<<

This crap goes on with illegals who claim welfare and LINK card benefits for kids not even in this country. Just give 'em a voters card and they're a Democrat.

6/15/2015 12:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought BHO and Rauner both said they were going to tax millionaires?!?!

6/15/2015 12:33:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Another set of numbers in the equation as to how/why
Chicago is a pit of corruption where taxpayer treasure
is accelerated at astounding velocity once it is forcefully
vacuumed from taxpayer pockets..."

OO-ee! My lightweight long-sleeve comin off in shreds.

BLlZZARD of dollar bills!

All y'all mean we is stuck in a WIND TUNNEL?

Holt on tight. Checkin jet fighter airframes next...

6/15/2015 12:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
This crap goes on with the lower class folk who use other people's kids as tax deductions. The IRS knows about this scam and does NOTHiNG.

6/14/2015 08:57:00 PM

But let YOUR legit, play by the rules middle-class, captive, tax paying,
peed-on-peon ass submit a tax return with legit but "cute" application
and reading of the tax code?

Uncle Sugar WILL fuck you up for not staying in your lane and paying your "pro rata"

6/15/2015 01:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Michelle Obama was getting $330 thousand for a no show job . . ."


Anyone who was at Chicago City Hall or the University of Chicago back in the day can tell you that as a friend of Reverend Jesse Jackson Michelle Obama always put in a full day's work! She called her friends on the telephone. She read paperback romance novels. She finished numerous crossword puzzles. That's hard labor and she sweated for every penny.

6/15/2015 06:09:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what difference does it make if the movie company takes the tax credit or sells it to someone else? the state is out the same amount of money.

consider that the movie company might well need the funds before the state is willing to pay them out, so they sell them at a slight discount to get funds they need upfront.

6/15/2015 09:45:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of tax breaks, the pure and noble Chicago City Council (aka "The 50 Trained Seals") are threatening to withhold $3 million in tax breaks from Spike Lee because he is naming his new film Chiraq. It isn't often that I agree with Spike Lee so I will just vote Present on this one.

The Tribune says Spike Lee's film production company is called "40 Acres and A Mule Filmworks."

Come on now Spike, do the right thing.

6/15/2015 11:06:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

President's advisor gets tax break

6/17/2015 11:31:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Newer Posts.......................... ..........................Older Posts