In Suffolk County, Massachusetts, a new wrinkle on the old Producers-like scam hit the spotlight as a grand jury indicted Daniel Adams, a film impresario with several films under his belt, on ten counts larceny and false claims to the state in the financing of two movies set in the Cape Cod area, The Golden Boys (2008) and The Lightkeepers (2009).
According to Boston.com, Adams is charged with taking “advantage of a state incentive that allows film makers to apply for a tax credit equal to 25 percent of eligible production expenses. But prosecutors said he deceived the state about his expenses, claiming, for instance, that he paid [actor Richard] Dreyfuss $2.5 million, when in fact he paid him only $400,000.”
Adams has pleaded not guilty, and his legal standing is for a jury to decide.
More important is the general policy — funding movies is just not a legitimate use of tax money.
The only possibly legitimate argument for taxation is that the forcibly extracted money serves all the people it’s extracted from, by fulfilling very general, truly public interests. Making movies is not that.
One wag notes that “[t]he real crime is that a movie starring Richard Dreyfuss ever qualified for taxpayer funds in the first place.” That sounds almost like a criticism of Dreyfuss. Hey, I like the actor.
The point is that no film, either starring the greatest of greats or the least of unknowns, should be financed with conscripted money.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.