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States give Hollywood a fortune in breaks

BALTIMORE (AP) -- Many states that are cutting spending on schools, roads and other basics have been lavishing hundreds of millions of dollars in incentives on Hollywood studios to lure TV and movie productions -- this, despite scant evidence that taxpayers come out ahead on such deals.

An Associated Press survey found that states competing for projects handed out $1.8 billion in tax breaks and other advantages to the entertainment industry from 2006 through 2008.

Several states have even sweetened their incentives recently or are considering doing so, for fear that if they don't land the next major motion picture, someone else will.

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