Mass. tally finds thin return from film subsidies

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  03 March 2013
Mass. tally finds thin return from film subsidies

The state’s film subsidy program cost taxpayers an estimated $44 million in tax credits in 2011, though it created the equivalent of more than 1,200 full-time jobs, according to the state’s latest annual report on the incentives.

In the report, the state Department of Revenue said most of the economic benefits went to Hollywood and other locales. Only 35 percent of the $176 million that production companies spent in Massachusetts in 2011 went to residents and companies in the state. The state recouped just 16 cents in new tax revenue for every $1 it gave up in subsidies in 2011, the most recent year with complete data"
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  03 March 2013
I don't think all subsidies are bad it's just that with there being subsidies all over the world and in the U.S. basically competing for the same US film productions. The US film industry can be spread around the US, but it's unrealistic to spread it across the globe and expect a healthy industry. Most, if not all US subsidies should be focused on post-production and allied-production areas like optics development, camera rental, PhotoCine equipment design/construction/rental, costuming, prosthetic, set construction, restoration services (auto, home wares, etc.) simply because all of those services can be re-purposed and leveraged in several areas when there's an ebb in film production and the businesses still can maintain jobs and grow in local communities. On top of that the subsidies would probably be far less costly than throwing millions at a studio for production while all of that support structure is elsewhere ensuring that only a small portion of the projects are being done in the subsidized zone and then they are gone leaving a gaping hole in local economies.
  03 March 2013
They are basically saying even in a worst case scenario, it made money back (albeit less than promised, and not distributed how they wished).
If they tightened it to lean more towards residents, it would have done better again at a state level, they should do that, slashing it though, doesn't make much sense since they can more than afford it on loose change so it's not exactly taking away from that many other more worthwhile investments (16% with a yearly return is respectable).

That's better than what most proponents of taking them out of the picture entirely (saying they would be a stark negative) ever hypothesized.

Maybe some other states will now consider. At a State level it was a mildling success, nationally it probably did a bit better than that again.

Wonder how Cali will take to the news as it's the first report of quite that kind around, and it contradicts what they had been saying for a while.
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  03 March 2013
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