Film biz blasts move to cut tax break

By Thomas Grillo
Boston Herald
January 28, 2010

The Bay State film industry is giving a thumbs down to Gov. Deval Patrick’s plan to slash the tax credit that helped create more than $1 billion in economic activity.

“The film tax credit costs only one dime for every $1 it creates in jobs and economic growth,” said Mary Fifield, a spokeswoman for the Massachusetts Production Coalition, a group of companies that make films in the region.

Patrick filed a $28.2 billion budget yesterday that cuts human services, raises taxes on candy, soda and smokeless tobacco, but spares local aid. The governor reduced the film tax credit by $75 million, saying it “has been wildly successful but has been very expensive.” He also trimmed the state’s life sciences tax credit by $5 million.

Fifield said she sympathizes with the governor’s need to cut spending. But the film tax credit – which was $100 million in 2009 – has been a boon to the commonwealth, acting as an incentive to local investment by production companies, she said.

“We want to help contribute to closing the budget gap,” she said. “We’re concerned that this cut could have a negative effect on the jobs and businesses at a time of rising unemployment.”

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