Sutherland Institute Paper Shows Film Subsidies Unnecessary, Urges Legislators to Defeat HB 99

For Immediate Release: Mar. 8, 2011
Contact: David Buer
Director of Communications

SALT LAKE CITY (MAR. 8, 2011)—A new paper by Sutherland Institute Policy Analyst Matthew C. Piccolo challenges the need for grants from the Motion Picture Incentive Fund (MPIF) distributed by the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED). MPIF unfairly and unnecessarily benefits a few hand-picked companies and puts their competitors at an economic disadvantage, Piccolo writes.

“We have found that MPIF actually concentrates economic power in the hands of a small group of privileged companies and is a misuse of taxpayer money,” Piccolo said. “In fact, several film companies we contacted said they would have filmed in Utah without receiving any subsidy.”

This week, legislators will consider HB 99, Motion Picture Incentives Amendments. The bill would increase the ceiling on the incentive grant from 20% to up to 25% and expand MPIF in other ways. Sutherland opposes subsidies, grants, tax breaks and other incentives when they are given to a select few companies. All companies should receive the same government incentives so that the economic playing field remains level. Sutherland Institute urges legislators to defeat HB 99.

Sutherland Institute is a conservative, state-based, independent public policy organization located in Salt Lake City. Its mission: protecting the cause of freedom, constructively influencing Utah’s decision makers, and promoting responsible citizenship. Sutherland Institute is recognized as the leading conservative think tank in the state of Utah.