Governor Charlie Baker recently stated that he’s looking into eliminating the film tax credit so that those dollars could be given to the working poor.
Well, Governor Baker, I encourage you to do a little bit more research about the film tax credit and while you may assume that the Commonwealth is giving away money that can go towards the working poor, I can point to more than a handful of wasteful entities that Massachusetts needs to say “Bye Felicia” to and the film tax credit in NOT one of them.
“I think it’s an important opportunity for us to both do something real and also send a signal that we believe in supporting people who are working real hard to get ahead,” the governor said in an interview Monday. “This is one way, in addition to increasing the minimum wage and some others, to provide them with more bang for their buck.” ~Governor Baker quoted in The Boston Globe
No, I’m not naive and ambivalent to the facts that there are a number of low-income working families in the state that struggle with the $937 Earned Income Tax Credit, which is the current rate for a family with 3 or more children, but if the Governor does do away with the film tax credit taking the “Robin Hood” approach, it will make things worse in the state and not better.
From my experience, film and TV productions come to MA and spend millions of dollars to create thousands of jobs BECAUSE of the film and tax incentive. Even the State Department of Revenue said that 96% of the production spending was NEW and a direct result of the film and TV tax credit!
Robin Dawson, executive director of the Boston Film Festival, wrote in a Nov. 16 Globe op-ed column that tax breaks and incentives, like the ones given in New York and California, can become the deciding factor in a film studio’s choice of location.
“It may also be time to boost Massachusetts’ film tax credit,” she wrote. “The current tax incentive is directly linked to securing continual film and television production and is a requirement in order to keep the industry one that is lucrative for all involved.” ~The Boston Globe
Governor Baker, it’s time to do some more research and rethink doing away with the film tax credit.