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

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Eternal vigilance is the price of a film credit


Another let’s bash the film tax credit piece in the dead tree media. Hey, if it isn’t the Glub it’s gotta be....... the Herald. Plus ça change, the more articles about how we are getting ripped off.

Hard hitting news lass, Hillary Chabot, notes from a DOR report that “Massachusetts lost $95.5 million last year alone chasing a silver screen pipe dream - and is on the hook for another $250 million over the next two years - according to the astonishing report, quietly released on the DOR Web site just before the July 4th weekend.”

She reinforces it with a hard hitting quote from state Rep. Steven D’Amico (D-Seekonk), “That $95 million would go a long way to plugging some of the holes in our budget.” No, Stevie, cleaning up the pensions mess might, but cutting out the tax credit won’t.

Hillary was nice enough to get a quote from reg Bialecki, Patrick’s secretary of house and economic development. One must wonder how professional she or her journal are as his title is Secretary of Housing and Economic Development. I guess attention to detail is not a priority.

Nor is investigative journalism. Other than an off the cuff remark form the Secretary. Had she dug a little, she could have asked the point man with the film industry here in the Bay State, Nick Paleologos. Nick is Executive Director of the Mass Film Office.

The MFO has a page that details what the Film Credit has done for the Commonwealth. The headline is a good start, DOR: MOVIE SPENDING IN MA IS $676 MILLION.

One of the implications of Chabot’s writing is all the work goes to outsiders. Well, certainly they should be calling moi instead of Leonardo di Caprio, but so what. When Leo works here he pays taxes on the gazillions he makes just as if he were born and bred here. Nicks nicely makes that point here.

Baystaters do get jobs in the industry. According to the MFO, Since 2006, direct employment of Massachusetts residents in film production increased by 537%. Not only that there is a detailed table in the article that Hillary as a heavy hitting journalist might want to look at. The

As a not simon pure libertarian, I think a reform of the state’s tax and spending process across the board would be in order. That will never happen unless there is a budget crisis of nuclear melt down proportions. As that is doubtful, a measure that increases jobs is not to be sneered at.

One of my early political memories is how Massachusetts lost representation after the 1960 census because population declined. In each decennial head count since that I have been paying attention, we’ve lost a rep in Congress.

People leave here for many reasons. Some because of the winters. Many because the work is not here. Other than the long over hi tech boom, we are not a job generating state. People don’t leave Massachusetts because the unemployment benefits are inadequate.

Why should Hillary care. She has a job. Granted, she could do better at it.

When Fidelity threatens to leave, Beacon Hill trips over itself with favors. They didn’t deliver much to Hollywood East and they are building a state of the art studio.

If you want to defend the credits, contact your rep and senator. Link here.

Update-The Herald more than redeemed itself with an editorial entitled Still the reel deal. It nicely ties to together all the points in other articles.

Hat tips, Chuck Slavin and New England Talent and Crew among others.

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