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Premium Member
10,057 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone seen the news segment on the film tax Credits that Mass gives to production studios for making movies in this State.Its no secret that alot of movies have been filmed here in the last few years and I think a film studio is opening somewhere in Mass soon. The report was stating that tax payers are losing money by the millions ..I believe 82 million this year alone, Duval is all about saving money by cutting jobs to Police Officers while enticing the Hollywood crowd here to rob us blind..

Premium Member
10,057 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Will Hollywood's Spotlight Stay On Massachusetts?

Team 5 Investigates Whether The State Gives Up Too Much To Attract Filmmakers

BOSTON -- Hollywood's spotlight on Massachusetts has never been brighter --- 14 movies shot locally in the past 12 months. Who doesn't love it?
Watch Report
"The film industry is in the business of selling dreams," said Rep. Steven D'Amico, a Democrat from Seekonk. "Everybody wants to meet a movie star up close."
Just ask Baylee Ricci, an extra on six movies with a big dream: "Landing that big role that gets me noticed!"
Rob Anderson owns the bar down the street from where two movies have been shot.
"This seems to be the spot they end up at the end of their day," he said.
But rumblings of discontent can still be heard as movie moguls brag about the jobs, the business and the publicity showering the state.
"Clearly, a bad deal for Massachusetts," said Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.
Widmer objected to the eye-popping 25 percent tax credit that lures Hollywood here. That means for every dollar producers spend, the state gives back 25 cents.
"If they spend $20 million on a big-name movie star, we're paying $5 million of his salary," he said.
But proponents of the tax credit insist, money begets money.
"When they decide to make a movie, it's a $100-million decision somebody in Los Angeles is making," said Nick Paleologos, executive director of the Massachusetts Film Office. "The only question is, where are they going to spend that hundred million?"
Paleologos cited a report from the Massachusetts Department of Revenue that estimates for every $100 million in tax credits given out, $700 million end up in the pockets of local businesses or residents.
"The reality is, almost no permanent jobs," Widmer countered. "Most of the money that's made is spent out of state."
In fact, Team 5 Investigates visited three movie production sites unannounced over the past two months and found nearly every production truck, every catering business and most license plates were from out of state. Companies based in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Georgia, California and Oregon. License plates from Nevada, New York, Connecticut, California and Maine.
Even local businesses that love rubbing elbows with Hollywood admit the payoff isn't what they envisioned.
"It's definitely an added bonus," said Anderson, the bar owner. "Not big money."
"Well, this just confirms what a bad economic investment this is," Widmer said. "And how little spillover economic impact this has."
But Paleologos argued, "This whole industry has gone from zero to 60 in Massachusetts in less than 12 months and we've had growing pains. Can we service everything? Can we service the demand? No. Are we trying to grow the base? Yes."
Critics, however, said growing the base is a bad idea.
D'Amico told Team 5 Investigates he believes the highest-paying jobs -- from production crews to actors -- will always go to out-of-staters who spend most of their earnings back home, not here in Massachusetts.
And the jobs that do go to local residents, like Baylee Ricci, are temporary.
"It's long days, usually about 15-hour days," Ricci said. "It's usually a little more than a hundred dollars a day."
In fact, a Canton company that has reaped big financial gains from the influx of movies -- even tripling its equipment rentals in two years -- conceded that it only added one full-time job to its staff.
"The idea of a permanent job in the film industry is a little bit of a misnomer," said John Cini of High Output. "There's no sense of permanence in our industry, but for 22 years, we've managed to hang in there on such sketchy grounds, so to speak."
But can Massachusetts keep the producers coming? Critics claim legislators could be pulled into a vicious competition that it can't win. For example, New York, which lost a lot of productions to the Baystate, now offers tax credits up to 35 percent. Michigan went even further --- 42 percent!
"They go wherever the tax credits are the highest," D'Amico said. "Just as New York found out they can't hold onto their film industry in the face of high subsidies -- bribes you may call them -- from Massachusetts and Connecticut, neither will we be able to defend the industry once it's well-established here without increasing subsidies."
Yet Beacon Hill is now considering a bill to extend those enticing credits to anyone who builds permanent production facilities. But even that may not be enough to assure long-term financial success for local companies.
"The Massachusetts incentive was not designed to support Massachusetts companies," Cini said. "It was designed to support the overall business of filmmaking in Massachusetts."

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How exactly are taxpayers losing money by bringing an industry into Mass? Even if the studios get a break, they still pay taxes, hire local resources, etc. If they went away, would we pay lower taxes? Would there be more money in the state?
I'll never understand why people don't understand incentives. They seem to be the same ones that buy into the class warfare crap. They want to tax and regulate the snot out of businesses and then they call them evil when the move elsewhere.
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