Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Film Tax Credit Just Gets Better

and better and better. Obviously, I'm no big fan. Now, the whole thing gets even worse. Not only can films receive the tax credits corporate welfare payments, but so too will production companies filming commercials. Every time Sam Adams is advertised on TV now, Massachusetts is kicking in 25% of the costs to produce that ad.

The Globe doesn't paint a rosy picture.
In its high-profile bid to compete with Hollywood and New York as a film production hub, the state is doing more than subsidizing TV series and feature movies through tax credits and sales tax exemptions. It is also underwriting the cost of producing TV commercials in Massachusetts. The Department of Revenue said it has issued more than $2.1 million of tax credits for 37 ad-related productions - with eight more applications pending - since the state started offering incentives two years ago.
Furthermore, per my second link, readers will note that for every 3 dollars this measure will cost the State of Massachusetts, the Bay State will get around 1 dollar in new economic development. That kind of net sum loss would even get CEOs fired.

Unfortunately, Massachusetts just isn't Hollywood. Sure, we want to encourage economic growth and diversity, but that growth has to make sense: we can't be spending more money than we're earning. Massachusetts will no more become the next Hollywood as it will become the next center for corn growth. If we're going to give incentives for filming in Massachusetts, then those incentives should be realistic, revenue neutral and play to our strengths: certainly, there's a media niche Massachusetts can fill. Our history, economy and transportation systems make us an ideal site for many films; we should try to maximize our potential in that arena.

We obviously haven't done that yet, instead resorting to the worst kind of Corporate Welfare. Massachusetts needs to go back to the drawing board, figuring out ways to bring new growth to Massachusetts, without being seduced by the glitzy lights of Tinsel Town. We're not Hollywood or New York - we have the Hancock, not the Rockefeller. Playing to our strengths is key. At least, if law makers can't resist the Hollywood limelight, they need to create bills that make fiscal sense - something no worse than revenue neutral for the citizens of Massachusetts.


Anonymous said...

Brought to you by the biggest bunch of dopes ever to hold office.

Anonymous said...

Deval or Dimasi must be angling for a starring role in a remake of "Mr Smith goes to Washington".

Anonymous said...

You're confusing them with Jim Ogonowski, easily the most clueless candidate going. Or am I confusing him with Rob Eno again?

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