Letters for Aug. 2, 2015
Kauai paying too high a price
“We will pay you to make a movie.” That is what our state is saying. Because of the fear studios won’t come film on location in Hawaii, Act 88/89, enacted July 1, 2013, has increased incentives and tax credits. In 2014, 32 film productions ranging from “Hawaii Five-0” to” Jurassic World” received estimated $33.8 million rebate for incurred cost, while the same 32 only generated an estimated $19.2 million in tax revenue.
The state claims $279 million in additional revenue got generated. However, I find it odd how this claim is not estimated, like the first two. Hawaii should be making royalties, since it’s one of the stars. Not to mention, why did the county pay “SI” $70,000 to shoot their swimsuit edition? Tourism? No TMT tax!? No sense!
Last, “Jurassic World” broke four records, it smashed domestic and international opening weekend. Then, it went on to become the fastest movie to pass the $2 billion mark internationally and $1 billion domestically. We paid Universal Pictures so they could make record profits off our backdrop, with the hopes of earning it on the tail end through promotion. All while Kauai loses on all angles. But the state is even worse. They paid $34 million, made $19 million, while just one of 32 applicants made over $3 billion.
As a county that is not getting enough money for its investment into tourism, we should focus on real farm export, and the county should work on an economic plan to make Kauai “The Garden Isle” once more.