Massachusetts Film Incentive Update

Massachusetts Film Incentive Update

On Thursday March 21, the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) released its report on the state’s Film Incentive Program (FIP) for the year 2011. As in past years, the DOR uses methodologies that underestimate the economic benefits of the FIP. Despite that, the report released this week clearly demonstrates that when the incentives are allowed to work, without threats of rollbacks, they bring new business to our state and create jobs.

Here are two highlights from the 2011 DOR report:

  • For every 21 cents we invest in this growing industry, we get back a dollar in new business for the struggling Massachusetts economy. That’s $175 million in 2011 that wouldn’t have been spent here without the incentive.
  • In 2011 alone, more than 1200 good-paying jobs with an average salary of over $70,000 a year were created in the Massachusetts film and television industry as a result of the incentive program, according to the report.

In our ongoing work in support of the Film Incentive Program, we will use the encouraging trends in the 2011 DOR to underscore the damage that even the threat of a proposed cap on the Incentive can do to our growing industry. Along with our sister unions and a wide range of industry stake-holders, we are gathering our own data and presenting our case to the leadership in the legislature.
 
Our focus now is on the House budget. We are working with our industry partners to make the case for preserving the incentives without a cap – or any other changes that will curtail production in our state. Although the House budget must be our focus now, we are mindful of the work we must do with the leadership in the Senate once they take up the budget issue. Each step in the process is important to our members’ interests and we will continue to work to ensure that the Governor's proposed cap does not become law.
 
As with the release of the DOR report this week, we will keep you informed of significant developments in this process and when our members’ individual advocacy efforts can best be used in support of our collective effort to retain the FIP without compromise. Based on our conversations with House leadership, we will need our members’ help soon so please watch your email for another message from SAG-AFTRA early next week.