Movie and film companies that hire Michigan workers and base more of their operations in the state would fare better than others under a new incentive program approved Thursday by the state Senate.
The bill, approved 34-4, would set some new guidelines for carving up the $25 million available for state film, movie and video incentives. The legislation advances to the House.
The incentives would not be as lucrative as the 42 percent subsidy previously received by film companies working in Michigan. But supporters of the legislation say incentives would be competitive with most other states.
Incentives would be geared toward movies and films with Michigan-centered productions.
Funding equal to 32 percent of spending on Michigan personnel would be available until 2015, at which point the credit would drop to 27 percent. The incentive funding would be worth 27 percent for spending on out-of-state personnel, dropping to 12 percent in 2015.
Incentives would cover 27 percent of a company's direct production expenditures. The legislation also calls for a 3 percent incentive bonus for use of a Michigan studio or post-production facility.
"This bill is focused on jobs, the economy and Michigan workers," said Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, a Republican from Monroe and sponsor of the legislation. "This legislation vastly improves upon a program that began a few years ago by rewarding those companies that invest in our state and build a long-term presence in Michigan."
Vans Stevenson, an executive with the Motion Picture Association of America, said in a statement the legislation would "create the certainty and stability our members need to invest and grow in the state" while using Michigan tax money responsibly.
Michigan had one of the nation's most generous film incentive programs in the nation until Oct. 1, when annual spending on the program was capped at $25 million. The program previously was not capped.
The film incentive legislation is Senate Bill 569.