IMAGINE COMMENTS ON BBJ POLL AND ARTICLE: R.I.P.D. is Mass. film tax credit program’s top flop – Voice your Opinion Please

Dear IMAGINE Readers, Advertisers and Industry Supporters, (Let’s keep the work coming here).

You may recall that IMAGINE Magazine introduced Film Tax Credits to New England in the early 2000’s and I wrote the first definitive piece on why we should pass film tax credits in 2004. IMAGNE worked to insure support and passage in 2005, encouraged making them better in 2006 and have worked to support and defend them since then. Since our inception in 1998, film tax credits and growing this industry has been our #1 mission.

It’s important that we protect Film Tax Credits in New England, and believe me it is a 24/7/365 responsibility. Overnight our main attraction of major productions, both studio and independents, to bring their work to our state can be severely damaged – or worse wiped out. A recent case in point is Connecticut when in late June the Connecticut’s Film Office awoke one morning to find the state’s tax credits for film had been suspended for two years!

Many people do not understand what tax credits are designed to do. What they are not designed to do is easier to understand. Tax Credits are not designed to put money directly into government coffers. Period! The end! Why is it always judged on that misconception?

Tax Credits, and particularly Film Tax Credits, are designed to pour money into an existing economy that would otherwise not be available with the purpose of stimulating job creation and other desired results such as this huge benefit to the Commonwealth: attraction and tourism the state could not afford or buy any other way.

When a production buys or rents everything it needs here, talent trailers, equipment of all kinds, lumber, paint, hardware, hotel rooms, catering, transportation, waste management, chiropractors and much more too numerous to mention, the desired results are achieved. The point being that every dollar the production spends ends up being business or personal income that will be taxed by the Commonwealth. In addition much of that money will be re-spent here creating more taxes for the state, cities and towns.

Whether or not R.I.P.D is a success or failure at the box office has nothing to do with Tax Credits. The production was on location in and around Boston for six months, sometimes with 5 or 6 crews shooting at once. R.I.P.D. spent more than any other production in the Commonwealth’s history; they also didn’t break anything, they didn’t pollute or use any social services. Everyone who worked on R.I.P.D., no matter where they are from or what they contributed will pay taxes in Massachusetts! That includes Ryan and Bridges.

There is no formula for calculating exactly the worth of a film tax credit. I take great exception to being judged by anyone who apparently doesn’t understand what a tax credit is designed to do, particularly those who use the glamour of our industry to write head turning headlines, especially when they have no appreciation of the 2500 names or more in the credits at the end of the film or just how hard and yes, unglamorous, it is to make a film.

YOU CAN PARTICIPATE IN THIS BBJ POLL: There is only one question and it will take only a minute to cast your vote:

Is the Massachusetts film-tax credit working for the state?

 

Participate in the BBJ Poll here

 

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