Chicago, IL—All of America’s big cities are exclusively run by, Democrats. They never met a tax they did not love and in fact they have strangled their local businesses to death. Big city taxpayers and businesses flee by the droves or simply fall under the weight of taxation from every possible direction.
Big city taxes are job killers and that of course takes even more revenue from city treasuries. Detroit is the poster child for a city that has taxed itself to death. Cities in California are now filing bankruptcy one after another. Inept and corrupt politicians are everywhere.
A reverse tax is needed to draw productivity and life back to the cities. A reverse tax is simply payments or grants for businesses to create new life, business and jobs.
A simple revenue-generating program needs to begin for the motion picture business. Perhaps it’s time to look at Europe, specifically Germany in this regard. This is where I got the inspiration to write this article.
I’m involved in the making of a feature film right now that should be and could be made in the USA. However first I need investors or funds from every direction and I need a lot of them. Films are considered risky investments. I was able to find no less than $9 million in the form of a government cash grant; yes that’s a grant not a loan! It’s coming from the German government! That’s about half of the total budget of what’s considered a low budget film! Once I have half lined up it is so much easier to get the second half!
The only requirement to get the money is that 25% of the filming must occur in Germany under the care of a German film producer. More than 75% of the film I’m involved currently with can be made in Germany with ease! Germany hands out the grants because they learned the grants generate badly needed jobs and revenue!
Take Chicago and filmmaking. Chicago invites filmmakers to the Windy City and proceeds to offer them all kinds of cooperation for a very hefty price. Films are being made but not nearly enough. State and local governments nickel and dime filmmakers to death from every form of permit fees and regressive taxation. Making a film in Chicago is expensive and running off to film friendly Canada to fake Chicago is always an attractive alternative.
Germany on the other hand has done the math and found that these generous grants pay off well. The returns on job generation, and money spent by filmmakers brings big returns to government coffers.
Chicago is in unique position to attract filmmakers because it’s a terrific film location. It has every kind of weather; massive parks, the lake, and huge vacant buildings that can be easily converted into sound stages. If Germany can get the return on the investment, why can’t Chicago?
Mayor Emanuel’s brother, Ari Emanuel is probably the most powerful man in Hollywood right now. He runs Endeavor, William Morris , the largest talent agency in the world. The talent agencies, not the studios call the all the shots on American films.
If the City of Chicago partnered with filmmakers it would be both lucrative and fun for everyone. They need to somehow learn how to follow the German model.
If the Emanuel brothers got serious with this window of opportunity they could bring billions to the Windy City and get great films and TV series made that would never otherwise see the light of day.
By comparison California never figured out how to be film friendly and have lost hundreds of billions to Canada over the decades. They call that phenomenon runaway production. For example anything beyond making a home birthday party movie requires a minimum $1000.00 film permit in Los Angeles.
No budget producers like me must resort to guerilla filmmaking. Our crews have to keep a sharp eye out for the cops as we set up, shoot and scoot before they can stop us. Perhaps lowering the fees and bureaucracy could be a good start.
The Great film director Werner Herzog learned long ago to not let government get in the way of his art. Herzog goes so far as to suggest to his students that they forge film permits! Perhaps local government paying the filmmakers instead of extorting from them might induce new life and business.
If this works for Chicago they can do the same for any industry they want to attract. Imagine a city that pays productive people and their businesses to stay and produce!