The new study provides some statistical ammo for those in the Commonwealth who like the tax break, and are still smarting from a state Department of Revenue report in March that raised questions about whether it makes sense. The MPAA commissioned analysis from HR&A Advisors says that the state’s $37.9M in tax credits in 2011 added $375.3M to the Massachusetts economy including 2,220 full time equivalent jobs. That “reconfirms that incentivizing productions creates jobs and generates enormous economic return for local and state economies,” MPAA chief Chris Dodd says. Recent productions in the state include The Fighter, Grown Ups, Moneyball, Ted and The Town. The MPAA findings contrast with the state Department of Revenue study that concluded the incentive cost taxpayers $44M in 2011 and added about $39M to the state’s economy. Early this year Gov. Deval Patrick urged the legislature to cap the tax break at $40M a year, charging that it provided too much assistance to highly paid movie stars. The incentive appears to be safe for now; last month the state House dropped the idea for the budget it approved. The film tax incentive, introduced in 2006, sunsets in 2023. It consists of a 25% payroll credit for employees who make less than $1M a year, a 25% production expense credit, and sales and use tax exemption.
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