Tag Archives: Subsidies

Politicians Don’t Understand Energy Economics

Good politics and bad economics have been on display in British political conversations as the parties release their manifestos for the upcoming elections. Prime Minister Theresa May’s suggestion that energy prices be capped and migration controls strengthened was outstripped in economic foolishness only by Labour’s £48.6 billion tax increase and their proposal to nationalize the National Grid.

These proposals ignore economic realities and reflect a complete misunderstanding of how markets work – even markets for goods as vital as energy.

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No Matter Who Wins at the Oscars, Taxpayers Lose on Film Subsidies

Sunday night brings the 89th Academy Awards, and many are wondering what film will take home the Oscar for Best Picture. No matter what film wins, one group of people should be thanked during the acceptance speech—taxpayers.

Film is a heavily subsidized industry, and the majority of states have tax incentive programs that lower the cost of production. These tax credits are determined by production costs, not profits, and many credits are transferrable or refundable. When a film’s tax liabilities are below its allotted refundable credits, taxpayers end up directly paying film companies the difference.

The Big Short, one of this year’s nominees, cost $28 million to produce and was filmed in California, Nevada, and Louisiana. All three states have film tax credit programs, but Louisiana’s 40 percent partially-transferable credit is the largest. The film’s producers made a movie about Wall Street greed, but they clearly had no problem making taxpayers pay for their production costs.

Read the rest on Reason, here.

Panthers Beat Broncos in Subsidy Bowl 50

As anticipation for Super Bowl 50 builds, one winner has already been decided. When it comes to what team treats its local taxpayers better, the Carolina Panthers blew out the Denver Broncos.

To determine the winner, we can compare the burdens of direct taxpayer subsidies for the teams’ stadiums. The Broncos received $400 million (adjusted to 2016 dollars) for Sports Authority Field, or 75% of the total cost. Taxpayers gifted the Panthers $165 million, or 30% of Bank of America Stadium’s total bill.

Here’s the breakdown for both teams. (If your team lost in the playoffs, check out my analysis of the Bengals, Seahawks, Steelers, and Vikings here and Cardinals and Patriots here).

Read the rest on Forbes, here.