Panel gives thumbs down to cutting film tax credit

By Donna Goodison
Boston Herald
March 12, 2010

A legislative panel yesterday all but killed a proposal to roll back the state’s film tax credits to 2006 levels and restore a $7 million-per-film cap.

The Joint Committee on Revenue voted to give Rep. Steven D’Amico’s bill a recommendation of “ought not to pass.”

But D’Amico (D-Swansea), who calls the incentives a “blank check” for Hollywood to “walk away with what they can,” plans to still fight for the proposed legislation when the committee’s report hits the House floor.

“Once a bad idea becomes entrenched, it’s hard to dislodge,” he said. “I’m not going to be voting to cut local aid while we’re flushing $100 million a year on perks for Hollywood.”

The committee’s vote followed a hearing last week on the measure that drew both critics and supporters, the latter of which said the incentive is helping businesses grow and creating needed jobs.

“At a time when other economic sectors have seen job rates decline, the film credit has been producing hundreds of millions of dollars in new direct spending in Massachusetts and thousands of Massachusetts jobs,” Joe Maiella, president of the Massachusetts Production Coalition, a group that represents film industry workers, said in a statement.

Gov. Deval Patrick’s separate proposal to help close the state budget gap by imposing a two-year, $50 million annual cap on the film tax credits is still on the table.

Bid to ax tax break for films rejected
States use tax incentives to draw film work from Hollywood



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