Indiana needs film incentives

July 12, 2014
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IBJ Letters To The Editor

The recent opening of the motion picture “The Fault in Our Stars,” based on the novel by Indianapolis’ own John Green, has led to a re-examination of Indiana’s film incentive policy. The movie, based in Indianapolis, was filmed in Pittsburgh due to Pennsylvania’s more lucrative tax incentives. It was more cost-effective to re-create the Indianapolis Museum of Art’s iconic Funky Bones sculpture than it was to film at the 100 Acres in Indianapolis.

Indiana is one of 12 states that do not offer tax incentives to bolster their film and media industries [Hicks column, June 16]. By essentially giving production companies a coupon, Indiana could entice more production in our state, encourage entrepreneurs to open media companies and create jobs, and could help revitalize a stagnant production industry.

Critics argue that the tax incentive only produces short-term benefits for high-profile films and companies, and creates transient, low-paying jobs. This is not true.

First, tax incentives are not only for big budget Hollywood films. The incentives are designed to bolster both in-state and attract out-of-state businesses that produce a range of media—industrial, pharmaceutical, and training videos, TV commercials and documentaries. This creates a more robust film and media industry that results in more permanent high-paying jobs, and increased sustainable income in a variety of pay ranges for self-employed contractors.

While a number of international businesses are headquartered locally, they chose to film outside Indiana. Because of the vacuum created by lack of incentives, Indiana’s industry is small and the infrastructure for productions has migrated to those neighboring states with incentives.

A production tax incentive is necessary for Indiana to become competitive. A comprehensive incentive will allow Indiana to encourage productions here, increase revenue for the state, retain graduates and generate long-term business and high-paying jobs for many Hoosiers.

Glenn Pratt


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  1. So much for Eric Holder's conversation about race. If white people have got something to say, they get sued over it. Bottom line: white people have un-freer speech than others as a consequence of the misnamed "Civil rights laws."

  2. I agree, having seen three shows, that I was less than wowed. Disappointing!!

  3. Start drilling, start fracking, and start using our own energy. Other states have enriched their citizens and nearly elminated unemployment by using these resources that are on private land. If you are against the 'low prices' of discount stores, the best way to allow shoppers more choice is to empower them with better earnings. NOT through manipulated gov mandated min wage hikes, but better jobs and higher competitive pay. This would be direct result of using our own energy resources, yet Obama knows that Americans who arent dependent of gov welfare are much less likely to vote Dem, so he looks for ways to ensure America's decline and keep its citizens dependent of gov.

  4. Say It Loud, I'm Black and Ashamed: It's too bad that with certain "black" entertainment events, it seems violence and thuggery follows and the collateral damage that it leaves behinds continues to be a strain on the city in terms of people getting hurt, killed or becoming victims of crimes and/or stretching city resources. I remember shopping in the Meadows area years ago until violence and crime ended make most of the business pack you and leave as did with Lafayette Square and Washington Square. Over the past 10 to 12 years, I remember going to the Indiana Black Expo Soul Picnic in Washington Park. Violence, gang fights and homicides ended that. My great grandmother still bears the scares on her leg from when she was trampled by a group of thugs running from gun fire from a rival gang. With hundreds of police offices downtown still multiple shootings, people getting shot downtown during Black Expo. A number of people getting shots or murdered at black clubs around the city like Club Six on the west side, The Industry downtown, Jamal Tinsley's shot out in front of the Conrad, multiple fights and shootings at the skating rinks, shootings at Circle Center Mall and shooting and robberies and car jackings at Lafayette Mall. Shootings and gang violence and the State Fair. I can go on and on and on. Now Broad Ripple. (Shaking head side to side) Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Ashamed.

  5. Ballard Administration. Too funny. This is the least fiscally responsive administration I have ever seen. One thing this article failed to mention, is that the Hoosier State line delivers rail cars to the Amtrak Beech Grove maintenance facility for refurbishment. That's an economic development issue. And the jobs there are high-paying. That alone is worth the City's investment.