Bill Fine, WCVB-TV President And General Manager
March 4, 2010
BOSTON — It’s Oscar weekend, and all eyes will be on the red carpet Sunday night. But here in Massachusetts, Hollywood East is in the spotlight.
In the last four years, 38 major motion pictures have been shot in the Bay State, including the Scorsese-DiCaprio “Shutter Island” that’s currently a box office hit. The main reason for the surge in production is a 25 percent film tax credit that went into effect in 2006.
Now, the Patrick administration is proposing a cap on that tax credit in order to balance the budget. Is that a good idea?
It’s true that the credit is a loser on the tax revenue side. But supporters say look at the big picture: it’s generated a billion dollars in economic activity and added jobs in a down economy. For that reason, we believe the credit deserves to stay uncapped.
But government’s support of this industry can only go so far. The old adage there’s no business like show business won’t hold up here unless private investors step up to build the studios and other infrastructure needed to make this a permanent industry.
Without this next move, this film fight might have an unsatisfying ending.