Robert DeLeo: Film tax credit plays role in job growth

By Thomas Grillo
Boston Herald
February 17, 2010

Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo said it may not be the right time to edit the film-industry tax credit.

“I’m very concerned that we’re sending mixed signals to businesses,” he said. “We are talking about increasing jobs, and here we have a credit that puts our residents to work.”

Last month, Gov. Deval Patrick filed a $28.2 billion spending plan that would cap the film tax credit at $50 million – down from around $125 million – to help close a budget shortfall on Beacon Hill.

Proponents of the credit say it has brought more than $1 billion in economic activity to the commonwealth by creating incentives to local investment by Hollywood production companies.

In an interview yesterday with Herald editors and reporters, DeLeo said lots of folks would be unemployed if it weren’t for the tax break.

“Local hotel and motel owners, merchants who rent furniture and restaurants are part and parcel of the film tax credit,” he said.

The Winthrop Democrat acknowledged that cuts in the state’s budget will have to be made based on the fiscal crisis.

“I’ve vowed not to raise taxes, so we will have to make some cuts – but I will tell you that the film tax credit is a good investment,” he said.

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