Since we launched PolitiFact Rhode Island June 25, we've powered up the Truth-O-Meter 74 times, fact-checking statements from politicians, party bosses, bloggers, talk radio hosts, interest groups and anonymous chain e-mailers. As we close 2010 after six months with the growing national PolitiFact team, we thought we"d look back on the items that were most popular with our readers, based on our daily Web traffic reports.
Earlier this month, when Rhode Island officials were celebrating the filming of the ABC-TV series "Body of Proof" in the Ocean State, there was a lot of talk about how much the production -- and earlier productions -- have helped the local economy.
Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed cited a specific number during the Dec. 3 State House reception when she said the state's tax credit for television and movie production was generating $8 for every $1 it costs the state to extend the credit.
Is the benefit really that high?
She was citing a URI study released in the spring that looked at both the direct and indirect economic impacts, along with the projected long-term benefit to the Rhode Island economy.
But we found that when other states have evaluated the value of such credits, the immediate fiscal benefits are judged to be much lower than the URI estimate.
We'll explain why.