Just Call Del. Scott Surovell “Pimp Daddy”

As House Speaker Bill Howell said, “Y’all I wouldn’t want that picture to be in the paper.”


9 thoughts on “Just Call Del. Scott Surovell “Pimp Daddy”

  1. The photo of Del. Surovell as a pimped-out Hollywood star also raised my eyebrow, but after I watched the video clip of what he actually said on the House floor, I was very glad that he was willing to dress silly & use satire to make some good points [link to video below]. The more I read on this issue, the more irritated I got, especially as I saw that the House voted 75 -21 to increase the amount of this tax break to Hollywood [Link to House Bill 460: https://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?141+cab+HC10108HB0460+BREF ]

    If someone told me “some VA politicians are using tax dollars to lure Hollywood movie producers here,” I would expect tax-hating free-market-loving anti-Hollywood conservatives to be up in arms against this supposed Left-wing program to buddy up with movie stars. YET, I was surprised to learn that Gov. McDonnell signed this law in 2010. Also, I was puzzled wondering why did so many Republicans voted yes on this increase [Link to House vote roll call: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?141+vot+HV0543+HB0460 ].

    I’m curious to hear any substantive response from anyone here, on whether our VA tax dollars OUGHT TO BE be paid out to Hollywood movie makers who make movies in VA. Does this tax credit offend anyone’s free market sensibilities? Is this an efficient use of our tax dollars? Is it fair for VA to single out this one industry? How better could VA spend this tax revenue?

    Spielberg’s movie Lincoln grossed $275 million & Spielberg has a net worth of just over 3 billion (“b” billions, as in a 1,000 millions), but Spielberg got $3.5 million of our VA tax dollars? Really?! For those that say “well, the filming in VA yields benefits to VA that exceed the tax credit,” I’d politely ask to see some study on that. Even the pro-free market Cato Institute has been critical of these tax subsidies to the film industry. [I’ll start things off below with several links to some studies critical of such film subsidies]

    A 3rd grader can gawk & giggle at the above photo. But, as Del. Surovell is trying to encourage us, it’d be adult of us to have a moment or two of intellectual discussion on the topic of this VA tax law being considered by our General Assembly.

    Link to Del. Surovell House debate video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kfl4Js1PPxE&feature=c4-overview&list=UUMuLrehI7nq1rxYcNNjChLQ

    Further reading:
    â—¾William Luther, Movie Production Incentives: Blockbuster Support for Lackluster Policy, Tax Foundation, Special Report, no. 173 (January 2010), at 7, http://taxfoundation.org/sites/taxfoundation.org/files/docs/sr173.pdf
    â—¾Robert Tannenwald, State Film Subsidies: Not Much Bang For Too Many Bucks, Center on Budget & Policy Priorities (Dec. 9, 2010), http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=3326
    ◾Joseph Henchman, More States Abandon Film Tax Incentives as Programs’ Ineffectiveness Becomes More Apparent, Tax Foundation Fiscal Fact, no. 272 (June 2, 2011), http://taxfoundation.org/article/more-states-abandon-film-tax-incentives-programs-ineffectiveness-becomes-more-apparent.
    â—¾Louise Story, Michigan Town Woos Hollywood, but Ends Up With a Bit Part, New York Times (December 4, 2012), http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/04/us/when-hollywood-comes-to-town.html?_r=0.
    â—¾Will Wilson, Oscar Night Secret: Tax Breaks for Films Go Undisclosed in Many States, Stateline, Feb. 22, 2012, http://www.pewstates.org/projects/stateline/headlines/oscar-night-secret-tax-breaks-for-films-go-undisclosed-in-many-states-85899375403
    ◾Carten Cordell & Kathryn Watson, How Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln Benefited from Crony Capitalism, Reason, Nov. 15, 2012, http://reason.com/archives/2012/11/15/how-steven-spielbergs-lincoln-benefited.

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