Cross posted on ONE Massachusetts
As the Governor and the Legislature consider the FY 09 budget's “structural deficit”..
In a Saturday OPED in the Herald, Rep Steve D'Amico points out that our current tax policy that provides tax credits to the movie industry is costing a bundle. Worth every penny some people think!!
The movies have come to Massachusetts in a big way. It seems that every week there is another story in the news about the success of the film production tax credits enacted by the Legislature in 2007. Hundreds of good high-paying jobs! Hollywood East! There is now serious talk about building one or more movie studios here.
What the fawning press fails to mention is the cost. Movie producers are eligible for a 25 percent tax credit. Don’t confuse this with a tax break. Movie people don’t pay any sales tax – that’s one of the minor perks of doing business here. A tax credit is like an IOU from the taxpayers. For every dollar Disney or Fox spends, they get an IOU for 25 cents. When they spend $20 million on a big-name star, you shell out $5 million. That actor doesn’t spend his money here; he takes it home to California. While he is here, the studios put him up in a fancy hotel and the taxpayers pick up 25 percent of that tab too. The same deal applies to TV shows and commercials shot here.