Hollywood Welfare

With more and more Colorado families struggling to pay the bills, the Colorado legislature is looking to put Hollywood movie producers on the dole.

The Rocky Mountain News reports, “With an eye on luring movie productions to the state, the Colorado Film Commission hopes its latest proposal will fly because its $10 million cost would be offset by payroll and sales taxes paid by film companies that come to Colorado.”

The relevant House Bill is 1010, which would create “within the Colorado Office of Economic Development the Colorado Office of Film, Television, and Media.” The new bureaucracy would, among other things, “market Colorado as a destination for making feature films…”

The proper purpose of government is to protect individual rights, not help produce films. By forcibly transferring wealth to the project, the legislature would violate the rights of those who do not wish to fund it. Among other problems, many Coloradans would be forced to subsidize films that they regard as philosophically corrupt.

If legislators really want to help develop the economy, they will put an end to corporate welfare, protectionism, high taxes, and economic controls. They will eliminate the Office of Economic Development and cut tax rates across the board.

Sean Page points out that Hollywood Welfare isn’t all it’s cracked up to be; one study for New Mexico “found that the state gets about 14.4 cents in tax revenue for every dollar it spends on these efforts.”

The Rocky reports, “Colorado’s film industry has argued that productions no longer choose locations based on scenery or a movie’s plot, but look first at states that offer financial incentives.”

That’s just pathetic. We don’t need to stoop to our knees to grovel beside other states over who can best bilk the taxpayers in order to subsidize movie producers.

It’s also a good argument against the alleged economic gains. States that play this game will find they are trying to out-compete each other in luring these Hollywood bandits to town.