Advocates Strive Once More To Make Mass. Film Tax Credit Permanent
According to advocates of the Massachusetts’ film tax credit, a series of reforms recommended by the state Senate as part of the 2022 budget will destroy the commonwealth’s film industry just as it gets back on track from the pandemic and stands on the cusp of significant growth.
The House unanimously passed its budget, which includes language to keep the current film tax credit and remove its 2023 expiration. (A detailed summary of the credit can be found on the Massachusetts Film Office website.) But for its budget, the Senate Ways and Means Committee outlined four changes to the program, which on average accounts for between $60 and $80 million per year:
- Move the sunset date from Jan. 1, 2023 to Jan. 1, 2027
- Increase the minimum amount of in-state spending or in-state principal photography days from 50% to 75%
- Cap salaries eligible for the credit at $1 million
- Eliminate transferability of credits
Tinkering with an already successful credit makes no sense to the owner of Rule Boston Camera in Newton. John Rule says that making any one of the proposed changes may seem reasonable but could drop Massachusetts way down the list of locations that compete for major film projects. A 2019 report by Michael Thom ranks Massachusetts fifth in film tax credit spending behind New York, Louisiana, Georgia and Connecticut.
By: Erin Trahan