March 29, 2010
The bipartisan Statehouse effort that preserved the state’s film tax credit last week brought a sigh of relief from cultural economy boosters around Cape Ann and across the state.
And it should show Gov. Deval Patrick that, in looking for more state revenue, he shouldn’t kill a program that, by all counts, has pumped real money and jobs into the local and state economies over at least the last two years.
The Statehouse vote fought off a bid by the Patrick administration to put a $50-million cap on tax credits extended to companies making movies in the Bay State.
The governor argued that, given the state’s budget gaps, it can no longer afford to grant $100 million or more in tax breaks for that purpose. But, according to state Department of Revenue figures, that credit is responsible for creating thousands of job and generating more than $1 billion in direct spending in the commonwealth. And we’ve seen the benefit of it here, with the 2009 filming of Adam Sandler’s “Grown Ups” in Essex’s Centennial Grove plugging an estimated $1 million into that town’s economy, and the 2008 filming of the “The Proposal” in Rockport drawing more tourism interest as well.
State Rep. Brad Hill, the Ipswich Republican whose district includes Manchester, noted the impact the industry has had. And it was good to see him backed by House Democrats, with John Keenan, D-Salem — who chairs the Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development — noting the benefits of the tax credits as well.
The state film tax break is one package that’s provided some legitimate boosts for both the public and private sector economies on Cape Ann and elsewhere. It’s good to see our state lawmakers keep it on track.