Film Tax Credit

In conjunction with his budget, Governor Baker proposed the elimination of the Film Tax Credit. On this issue, I agree with the Governor.

The film industry is well organized in this state and, since the proposal came out, I have received over 100 emails like the one further below. While I am basically eager to encourage every job-creating industry in Massachusetts, the film tax credit is just too generous to one particular industry — no other industry receives a subsidy as deep as that offered by the film tax credit: The credit essentially pays for 25% of the costs making a film in Massachusetts, including 25% of the costs of movie stars acting while in Massachusetts. My opposition have not changed since 2011 when I wrote “Dazzled by the Stars”.

I am very aware that many people who are not movie stars do depend on the credit and I respect their valuable creative work.

For those in the industry, please don’t lose too much sleep over my views on this. My views are minority views and the Governor’s proposal is unlikely to move through the legislature.

I live in your district and am writing to urge you to save Massachusetts film jobs and oppose the Governor’s bill, H. 62.

Eliminating the Massachusetts film and television production incentive will cost jobs. It will drive thousands of jobs created by the production of motion pictures and television shows in Massachusetts to competing states. It will destroy a strong and growing local industry and rob families of a promising future.

It creates good jobs:
The film and television incentive creates and supports thousands of jobs throughout the state – from the sales representative at the lighting rental company to the forklift operator at the lumber yard to the costumer on the film set. These and thousands of other jobs are the result of the millions of dollars in new spending brought to Massachusetts by film and television production companies.

In 2012 alone, more than 1,900 good-paying jobs were created in the Massachusetts film and television industry as a result of the incentive program, with an average salary of over $64,000 a year. From 2006 to 2012, nearly 10,000 new jobs were created.

It impacts almost all of Massachusetts small business:
In over 225 Massachusetts communities, film and television productions have purchased goods and services from thousands of local businesses. That’s nearly 70% of all cities and towns in Massachusetts. Money generated by the growing film industry in Massachusetts provides a valuable boost to thousands of local businesses, including diners, caterers, hardware stores, lumber yards, printing companies, cleaning companies, hotels, and countless others.

It has created an industry:
Dozens of local entrepreneurs are building small businesses that are part of the state’s growing creative economy including film studios, post-production companies, equipment rental businesses, and many others are hiring thousands of Massachusetts residents. It’s growing the vibrant and successful creative economy industry that Massachusetts needs to succeed in the 21st century.

Save MA film jobs. OPPOSE H. 62.

Sincerely,

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Will Brownsberger
State Senator
2d Suffolk and Middlesex District