Is it a handout for Hollywood or a boost for the Massachusetts economy?
Movies in the Bay State are bringing jobs and money to the state, but they’re also costing taxpayers, and some are wondering whether we’re getting enough bang for the buck.
The tax credit pays movie makers 25 cents for every dollar they spend here, so if a movie maker spends $4 million, the state gives them back $1 million in the form of a tax credit.
People packed the State House on Wednesday to weigh in on a proposal to scale back the credit.
“This is probably the most costly tax credit with the least economic benefit in my experience - $125 million a year is the estimate for the next fiscal year,” said Michael Widmer of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.
“It’s a very small payback for a very huge investment,” said Richard Cambria, a supporter of the credit. “My job has been helping to keep my six-person household afloat for over a year now. The only hope I have is to work on more film and television projects that are slated to come here, so I know first-hand that now is not the time to kill more jobs in Massachusetts,” said
The Joint Committee on Revenue did not vote on the proposal to dramatically scale back the film tax credit to where it was in 2006.
It's not clear if the bill will ever make it to the House and Senate for a vote.
Gov. Deval Patrick is also proposing a reduction in the film tax credit, but not as drastically.