Thursday, January 23, 2014

How Leonardo DiCaprio Cost New York Taxpayers $30 Million

The National Journal reports:
The people of New York may think one of last year's biggest films only cost them a $15 ticket, but they'd be wrong.

Thanks to state law, The Wolf of Wall Street received a 30-percent tax credit from New York State, which means taxpayers paid for $30 million of the movie's $100 million budget, according to the Manhattan Institute, a nonprofit, nonpartisan economic research and policy group.

But New Yorkers were not the only ones to shell out cash for the most popular films of 2013. All nine films nominated for the Best Picture award at the Oscars this year, which will air in March, were filmed in states and countries that offer tax incentives to filmmakers.

American Hustle received a 25-percent tax credit for its $40 million budget from Massachusetts, while Her got a 20-percent tax credit from California for its smaller $25 million budget. Captain Phillips received a $300,000 grant for filming in Virginia. Gravity and Philomena received 45-percent tax credits each from the United Kingdom. Dallas Buyers Club and 12 Years a Slave had significantly smaller budgets, but received big credits, thanks to Louisiana, which offers the best movie-production incentives in the country.
One way to fight "inequality" is to stop tax credits for Hollywood.