In 2006, the Massachusetts General Assembly created a 25% tax credit for film production companies to shoot films in Massachusetts. The legislature believed that this tax credit would attract new business and create jobs in the Commonwealth. However, other states have joined in the act and a film tax credit "arms race" has erupted to see who can offer the biggest subsidies to the film industry.
Remarkably, the Massachusetts Senate has declined to take up the film industry tax credit bill. Senate President Therese Murray said the bill was "not on top of our agenda" as the legislative session ends next Thursday.
Subsidies such as tax credits distort the natural marketplace by favoring one industry over another. BHI suggested that Massachusetts simplify and lower the corporate tax rate to help all industries, not just the film or biotech industries. A uniform, lower tax rate will attract business to Massachusetts. Kudos to the Senate for rejecting this unnecessary tax giveaway.