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That's a Wrap: Nevada Film Credits Lose Out In Tesla Deal

The deal to bring Tesla to Nevada will gut the film incentive program, which was supposed to provide $80 million over four years to film companies that shoot in Nevada.

Filmmakers and production workers are angry that lawmakers cut the program.But Nevada isn't the only state that is reducing subsidies for film incentives. The LA Times reported that New Mexico, North Carolina and Michigan have also curtailed their programs.

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And there is strong concern among economists that film incentive programs don't really work as intended. Much of the spending during a movie shoot goes to out-of-state residents. Hollywood productions bring their own crews, actors and administrators. Money may flow to companies that support film production, but the vast majority will remain with people who don't live in Nevada.

The incentive did bring several productions to Nevada, among them Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 and a couple of independent features, including one starring Dakota Fanning. About $4-5 million has been spent on film incentives since the program was enacted last year.

But in Nevada, film tax credits can be sold to casinos -- and they often are. Listen to an interview last year with UNLV law professor Francine Lipman, who describes exactly how the program works.

Lawmakers have said they may consider resurrecting the film incentives during the next legislative session. But it will probably be harder to sell than a battery factory for Tesla motors.
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