Gov. Baker Proposes Eliminating Film Tax Credit


Gov. Charlie Baker’s first budget includes a proposal to double the state’s earned income tax credit for low-income working families. To pay for it, he wants to phase out the state’s controversial film tax credit.

The tax incentive was enacted in 2006 to attract big-budget Hollywood productions to Massachusetts. We’ve since seen a parade of famous actors and film crews on location in the state, shooting movies like “Black Mass,” “The Town” and “American Hustle.”

Baker says doubling the earned income tax credit and phasing out the film tax credit — which provides a 25 percent rebate for production costs, payroll and other expenses racked up while shooting in the state — would primary help single mothers who work.

“It’s one of the best ways I can think of for the commonwealth to send a loud message about wanting to make work pay, especially for those who are working hard every day to pay the bills and pay the rent,” Baker said.

The governor doesn’t believe the film tax credit is an efficient job creator, and that it costs the state more for each job produced than most of those jobs pay.

Noah Berger, of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, agrees with Baker’s proposal.

“It strengthens the economy because the money that we provide to those low-wage working people they spend right in the local community,” Berger said. “And I think this is a good example of looking at how we’re spending our economic development resources and saying, is there a better way of spending $80 million than subsidizing Hollywood movie producers?”

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