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.
Labels: money questions