Massachusetts becomes latest US state to propose defunding filming incentive
The Governor of Massachusetts has proposed cutting his state’s filming incentive to free up funds for other sectors of the economy. Massachusetts has hosted movies like The Fighter and American Hustle, but its 25% filming incentive is one of several in the US facing an uncertain future.
“I think it’s hard to conclude from the reports that I’ve read that [the film tax credit] is the most fundamental piece of why someone chooses to make a film here,” Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker told the Boston Globe.
The outlet notes that the Governor’s comments come just a few months after the executive director of the Boston Film Festival advocated a boost to the Massachusetts filming incentive.
Massachusetts has attracted a range of high-profile productions in recent years, including Disney’s upcoming true-life ocean rescue drama The Finest Hours, and the USD 36 million New England Studios opened in Devens near Boston in late 2013. However, the state’s financial appeal as a filming location is likely to suffer if the filming incentive is cut.
Total production spending in Massachusetts attributed to the filming incentive reached just over USD 300 million in 2012, according to government figures. A third of this total – some USD 100 million – went directly into the state economy.
The majority of US states offer filming incentive programmes, but only a handful have large enough film funds to attract big-budget productions. Michigan and Texas are currently considering defunding or cancelling their filming incentive programmes, and while Florida has an incentive officially in place it has not actually had any money to fund it for the past few years.
Massachusetts already faces stiff competition from neighbouring New York, which is one of the top production hubs in the US.
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