State Report Brings Welcome News in a Down Economy
In a report issued on May 19th, the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) predicted that the newly enacted film tax credits could bring in over $700 million of new investment and more than 5,000 new jobs.
They emphasized that these figures were hypothetical projections based upon applications they have received to date, but in a previous report issued in March, DOR announced that new direct spending on film and television production in Massachusetts since 2006, had already exceeded a half billion dollars.
The news came as no surprise to local industry spokespeople who have seen their own businesses expand in recent months. “In our small company alone, we are adding 12 to 15 new, high paying positions—just to meet the demand.” Observed Dave Waller, a principal at Brickyard VFX—a Boston based visual effects company.
DOR estimated the average annual salary of the new jobs created to be between $40,000 and $70,000. “My membership has increased by 50% in the last year,” added Chris O’Donnell–Business Agent for IATSE local 481, “and the average salaries in our union have doubled.”
According to DOR, the cost of the film tax credits is approximately 14 cents for every new dollar generated in the state’s economy.
Measured in direct spending (not including the ripple effect), new production spending in Massachusetts, according to the state Department of Revenue has been as follows:
2005 – $6 million (before film tax credit)
2006 – $60 million (1st year of credit)
2007 – $125 million (cap removed)
2008 – $380 million (as of March 2008)