“Massachusetts has had a generous film tax credit in place since 2006 to lure film and television productions — and the jobs they generate — to the state, but some elected leaders have long questioned the wisdom of the policy, which also provides generous benefits to wealthy people tied to such projects who don’t always live in Massachusetts. State Senator Michael Barrett and Chris O’Donnell, a business manager from the union representing New England film and TV workers joined Jim Braude to debate the tax credit, which is also being debate on Beacon Hill.
“There’s a new period of growth that’s going to happen in this industry,” O’Donnell said. “To send the message to Hollywood and to the people who work here, and the producers who are spending money here, that we are open to business for the long term, will only encourage that growth even more.”
“What we’re struggling with is the cost-benefit tradeoff,” said Barrett. “These tax credits are refundable and transferable… The movie folks who come into the state briefly have very little tax liability — what they get is a gift.”