Jimmy Kimmel and the top Oscar nominees will each receive a goodies bag that is worth more than $100,000 from a private firm. Its contents range from luxury vacations and hand-dipped chocolate truffles to diamond jewelry and underarm sweat patches.
There is one catch. The IRS says the gift is taxable income.
Where are we going? To unrecognized Academy Award costs.
Acceptance Speech Costs
Using the economic definition of cost, there is always a sacrificed alternative when we thank someone. In a 45-second acceptance speech, choices have to be made.
Maybe because families got the most recognition, husbands were ignored?
Also, out of 1396 speeches before 2015, Steven Spielberg was an overwhelming favorite:
We should note that in 2016, there were fewer thank you’s in speeches. Told a ticker would display names as they spoke, the winners were urged to focus on more interesting content. (In 2017, I saw no ticker.)
It is also possible that you and I have helped to pay production and post production film costs through state tax credits and benefits. New Yorkers helped out with Manchester By the Sea, Georgia provided money to Hidden Figures and Pennsylvania subsidized Fences. However, La La Land got none of the California Film Commission’s $330 million.
Our Bottom Line: No Free Lunch
Remembering there is never any such thing as a free lunch, still, let’s enjoy the awards this evening!
My sources and more: Knowing that tax credits can be sold, I found a list of recipients here but am not sure what they did with the money. Similarly, the description of the swag bags could not say who wouldn’t keep the 2017 “gift.” Finally, in addition to my thank you graphs, Slate had more. And, a recent paper said that tax credits did little for the states.
This post was slightly edited after it was published.