Massachusetts Film and Television Incentive Update
Yesterday, the state Senate adopted an amendment (#38) to their state budget that proposes substantial and extremely damaging change to the film and television production incentive program. Most significantly, this amendment would limit the credit with a salary cap that would prevent major productions from filming in Massachusetts.
Major film and television productions invest in high-profile talent as part of their product. They spend the most in the state, creating more jobs and buying more goods and services from local businesses. As a result, they have a larger overall economic impact on our cities and towns.
This amendment was added in the Senate's fiscal year 2018 state budget debate. The state's House of Representatives has already passed their budget, which DOES NOT include any changes to the film and television incentive program.
Between now and the end of June, the House and Senate will work to reconcile the differences in their two budget versions during a "conference committee" to produce a final state budget. A conference committee is a set of members from the House and Senate appointed to reconcile these two budgets. There are no public hearings during this process. Their completed budget is then submitted to the governor for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1.
Over the coming weeks we will focus our efforts to prevent this change to the film tax credit from being included in the final state budget. SAG-AFTRA New England is working closely with other film industry unions and other industry stakeholders to ensure it does not happen. While the strategy is currently evolving in concert with our allies, we will be calling on SAG-AFTRA New England members to take action in different ways to urge our state legislators not to make any changes to the film and television production incentive program with this amendment as the situation develops.
We have a lot of work to do in the next month and will be in touch with next action steps.
Thank you for supporting these efforts and your quick response to advocate for film jobs and business in Massachusetts!
SAG-AFTRA is a union that has among its members a diverse group of performers, broadcasters and newscasters. The passage of this resolution/statement should not be interpreted as a personal statement of opinion by or of any specific member of the union.