EAST LANSING, Mich., Oct. 8 (UPI) -- Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm says she's offering a generous tax credit to filmmakers to "add a whole new sector to our economy."
Granholm's comment was in response to mounting heat she's been taking for the tax credit she says was not intended to bolster state revenue but to build a film "ecosystem" to create jobs, keep young people and promote the state's image, the Detroit Free Press reported Friday.
A study indicated the tax credit costs the state Treasury more than it can generate in tax revenue from movie making.
"The point of this was to add a whole new sector to our economy and create jobs," Granholm said, "The point of it wasn't to make revenue for the state. That's the question -- do people want to see new sectors in Michigan that will keep young people here, because truly, that is priceless."
A Senate Fiscal Agency study says Michigan spent $68.7 million on film tax credits but generated only $7.5 million in tax revenue from the film production activity -- a net loss of $61.2 million in taxes, the newspaper said.
Carrie Jones, Michigan's Film Office director, said the Senate Fiscal Agency study is misleading because it does not take into account the jobs and overall economic boost it provides.
"We're showing Michigan is not the rust belt, it's the creative, innovation belt," Jones said.
Recent productions shot in Michigan include the movies "Transformers 3" and the horror spoof "Vamps," and the new ABC police drama "Detroit 1-8-7," the Free Press said.