The latest Massachusetts Department of Revenue report on the impact of film tax credits is out. Hollywood took us for $64.5 million in 2014. This is money that went to Hollywood film studios and didn’t go to our schools, roads and other vital services.
From 2006 to 2014, Massachusetts has given $548.1 million away in film tax credits. While it has generated some new jobs, it cost Massachusetts $106,099 for each new job created. The average salary for a Massachusetts worker as of May 2015 was $59,010. We aren’t getting much bang for our buck.
Massachusetts pays filmmakers for 25% for their production costs, 25% payroll costs, and exempts them from sales taxes. Provided the project spends more than $50,000 in Massachusetts. Your small up and coming local film maker doesn’t benefit from the tax credits. Hollywood does.
Hollywood films use creative accounting and seldom make a profit. They often sell the tax credits at a discount to companies or individuals that have to pay Massachusetts taxes. Companies and individuals used $410.7 million of the tax credits given out between 2006 and 2014 to reduce their taxes. Taxes that could be used to alleviate poverty or provide people with healthcare.
The legislature is good at giving our money away to Hollywood, General Electric and many other companies. We opposed a tax break for video game companies in the last legislative session that thankfully died in committee. But it will be back in the new session and we need your help in stopping it and getting Pirates into the legislature who will roll back these expensive and useless tax breaks. Support us with your time and money.