A blog about movies and the Sturbridge area, including The Brookfields, Brimfield, Charlton, Holland, Wales, and Spencer as well as adjacent towns.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Opposition to Film Tax Incentives

From a New York Times article,

October 12, 2008
States’ Film Production Incentives Cause Jitters
By MICHAEL CIEPLY

“There’s no evidence yet that this is a particularly efficient or effective way to create jobs,” said Noah Berger, executive director of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center.

The nonprofit center reviews budget and tax policies in Massachusetts, which is spending about $60 million a year on producer credits. A recent study by Mr. Berger’s center pointed out that the state’s film credit, at 25 percent, is five times higher than that offered to those who build in designated economic opportunity areas, and more than eight times the state’s standard investment tax credit.

In the words of Winston Churchill, "True but not exhaustive." The incentives cost the state money only if it could be proved that a certain film would be made even in the absence of the credits. If more films are made, there is a net gain in tax revenue even with the tax breaks. How much of an increase in revenue is created when we get another policy talking shop like the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center. My guess is zilch.

The film industry may not be the next Digital Equipment or Wang Labs, but where are they now?

It would not be a bad idea to have your reps and senators email addresses handy. Here's a link.

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