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MA Legislature sells us out to Hollywood

The Massachusetts House and Senate approved a budget that makes the film tax credit permanent. In the past, we mentioned that we gave nearly $90 million to Hollywood in 2016 and gave at least half a billion dollars to Hollywood over the last decade. 

The legislature’s excuse is that films create jobs. In 2017, when the average salary in Massachusetts was $62,110. It cost $102,888 in tax credits for each film credit job created. The tax credit aims to enrich large film productions since a film won’t get a tax credit unless it spends more than $50,000 in Massachusetts. A small up and coming local film maker doesn’t benefit from the tax credits. We are losing on the deal and Hollywood is profiting.

The Massachusetts Tax Expenditure Review Commission concluded that the program would cost the Commonwealth $56 – $80 million each year and is a waste of our money:

TERC voted to rate the film credit between “strongly disagree” and “somewhat disagree” on the proposition that the benefit of the tax expenditure justified its costs. We inferred that the purpose of the tax expenditure is to attract film productions to Massachusetts; the implied assumption is that film productions will create jobs and increase economic activity in Massachusetts. The economic data provided to TERC suggested that the film credit supported economic growth and new job creation. Over the period 2006 to 2016, this program resulted in $503.2 million in net new spending in the Massachusetts economy. But the cost of each new job created in the Commonwealth was $100,000.

The film tax credit cost us $500 million dollars in lost tax revenue over a decade while resulting in $503.2 million dollars in new private spending in the same period. Massachusetts is losing vital tax revenue we need for local services all so legislators can claim Hollywood stars came here.

The writing was on the wall since last year when over a hundred House legislators co-sponsored the bill to make the film tax credit permanent. We have three things you can do to fight this permanent give away to Hollywood:

  1. Urge Governor Baker to veto the film tax credit. Call his office at (617) 725-4005 on Monday. The line opens at 9am. While most of the legislature voted for the film tax credit, it was wrapped up in the budget. Once separated from it will be harder for them to support.
  2. Find who your legislator is and tell them of your opposition to the film tax credit!
  3. Run pirates against every legislator who voted for this boondoggle. All members of the House approved of it, but causing the co-sponsors to lose in 2022 would be the best way to send a message that the corporate give aways are over. Here are their names:


Tackey Chan – sponsor
Adam J. Scanlon
Adrian C. Madaro
Alice Hanlon Peisch
Andres X. Vargas
Angelo J. Puppolo, Jr.
Angelo L. D’Emilia
Antonio F. D. Cabral
Bradford Hill
Bradley H. Jones, Jr.
Brian M. Ashe
Brian W. Murray
Bruce J. Ayers
Carlos González
Carmine Lawrence Gentile
Carol A. Doherty
Carolyn C. Dykema
Christopher M. Markey
Colleen M. Garry
Daniel Cahill
Daniel J. Ryan
Daniel M. Donahue
Danielle W. Gregoire
Danillo A. Sena
David Allen Robertson
David Biele
David Henry Argosky LeBoeuf
David K. Muradian, Jr.
David Paul Linsky
David T. Vieira
Denise C. Garlick
Donald H. Wong
Edward F. Coppinger
Edward R. Philips
Elizabeth A. Malia
F. Jay Barrows
Frank A. Moran
Gerard J. Cassidy
Hannah Kane
Jack Patrick Lewis
Jacob R. Oliveira
James Arciero
James J. O’Day
James K. Hawkins
James M. Kelcourse
James M. Murphy
Jeffrey N. Roy
Jeffrey Rosario Turco
Jessica Ann Giannino
Joan Meschino
John Barrett, III
John H. Rogers
John J. Lawn, Jr.
John J. Mahoney
Jonathan D. Zlotnik
Joseph W. McGonagle, Jr.
Josh S. Cutler
Kate Lipper-Garabedian
Kelly W. Pease
Kenneth I. Gordon
Kevin G. Honan
Kimberly N. Ferguson
Kip A. Diggs
Linda Dean Campbell
Lindsay N. Sabadosa
Marcos A. Devers
Maria Duaime Robinson
Mary S. Keefe
Mathew J. Muratore
Meghan Kilcoyne
Michael P. Kushmerek
Natalie M. Blais
Natalie M. Higgins
Orlando Ramos
Patricia A. Duffy
Patricia A. Haddad
Patrick Joseph Kearney
Paul J. Donato
Paul McMurtry
Paul W. Mark
Peter Capano
Rady Mom
Richard M. Haggerty
Rob Consalvo
Shawn Dooley
Smitty Pignatelli
Steven C. Owens
Steven G. Xiarhos
Steven S. Howitt
Steven Ultrino
Susannah M. Whipps
Thomas A. Golden, Jr.
Thomas M. Stanley
Thomas P. Walsh
Tram T. Nguyen
Vanna Howard
William C. Galvin
William J. Driscoll, Jr.
William M. Straus


Bruce E. Tarr – First Essex and Middlesex
Timothy R. Whelan – 1st Barnstable
Susan L. Moran – Plymouth and Barnstable

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