Hypocrite moans when others may get taxpayer largesse
It seems for some being at the public trough is not enough. They also have to act as hypocrites when it appears others may be trying to push their snouts into the mix.
Complaints arose from one Louisiana film studio boss when he discovered that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration was renting out part of its Michoud Assembly Center for use as a film studio. Patrick Mulhearn of Raleigh Studios claims that the federal government, which is required to recover costs when possible on facilities, set rental rates for another studio to use its unused space at below-market rates, which would violate federal rules. NASA says it does not and no demand in the aerospace area means the space would not get used for the general purpose of the facility.
Raleigh uses space at Baton Rouge’s Celtic Media Centre, leading Mulhearn to whine, “All I've been given is hearsay from producers who tell me that our rates are more expensive than theirs. The taxpayers didn't fund [Michoud] to make movies. … I know that [Celtic’s owners] never would have built this facility if they knew they were going to have to compete with NASA.”
As if this guy and the facility owners don’t already live off the taxpayers’ backs. Celtic cost an estimated $45 million to build – and qualified for the state’s absurdly generous then-40 percent tax credit for studio construction to forgo paying as much as $20 million to the state. Raleigh gets business from those who do and itself can qualify for other film production tax credits that likely have cost the citizenry tens of millions more.
Without taxpayers letting over a hundred million dollars a year on average go by the wayside, chances are business done by Raleigh would be a fraction of what it is and Mulhearn would be out of a job. (In fact, a Michigan company under the same umbrella as the Louisiana one looks to be going belly up after similar incentives were withdrawn, leaving taxpayers on the hook.) Yet even if by following the rules competitors still might get an advantage by indirect government assistance, that doesn’t change the fact this is what he and others already do.
Posted by Jeff Sadow at 08:58