$19M in film incentives to retire bonds for Pontiac studio

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LANSING, MI (AP) – Lawmakers are allocating most of $25 million in funding for Michigan’s movie incentives program to resolve debt that the state owes for a film studio in Pontiac.

Legislation approved Tuesday by a conference committee dedicates $19 million to the State of Michigan Retirement Systems in the next fiscal year. That leaves $6 million to lure film and TV productions to Michigan.

Under a 2010 deal, Michigan’s pension funds are on the hook because Michigan Motion Picture Studios failed to make payments to bondholders.

Republican Sen. Jim Stamas of Midland says it appears legislators are on a path toward ending movie incentives.

The program initially had $50 million this budget year.

In 2012, the studio’s hard times were blamed on Michigan severely slashing some of the country’s most generous movie-making incentives.

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