Updated Friday, Jan. 9:
The former Speaker of the House certainly hopes so.
Just two days after handing the gavel over to the new Speaker of the House Chris Donovan, James Amann, who is not longer a legislator, returned to the state Capitol to attend a meeting of the Hollywood East task force that he created.
Amann who had trouble finding a parking space, since there was no longer one reserved for him said he wishes the lawmakers considering scaling back or eliminating the film industry tax credits would take a hard look at the data and visit some of the new studios.
“This thing is doing extremely well,” Amann said. However, the chairmen of the two budget committees sent out this press release Thursday stating that they have already begun an exhaustive review of the film industry credits to determine their value in an unsettled economy.
“The goal is to objectively determine if the state comes out ahead when the giveaways are matched up against the new business they generate,” Sen. Eileen Daily, D-Westbrook, said in the press release. And in fairness Daily, along with Appropriations Chairwoman Toni Harp, D-New Haven, both said they intend to weight the merit of all tax credits and tax exemptions this year.
Amann said he respects the lawmakers who may question the credits, however, they’re not here trying to get the information. “Why aren’t they taking the initiative?” Amann said.
He said since 2006 there have been 91 films made in Connecticut and 10 of them are up for Golden Globes. In fact, he said one of the films “Revolutionary Road” is up for film of the year.
The industry is growing, Amann said. He said everybody has to collectively put their data together, then they will see just how many jobs and economic activity were created by this credit.
Rep. Carlo Leone, D-Stamford, who chairs the Hollywood East task force, thanked Amann for all his hard work on the issue. In championing the film tax credits, Leone said the creation of jobs is the key winning public approval for these credits. He said as long as the task force and the industry get that message out then it will have the public on their side and will be able to convince lawmakers to keep the credits on the books.