Boston Globe: Open the curtain on impact of film tax credits

AS WAS recently noted in the Globe, the film tax credit has indeed been controversial (“Film projection,” Business, Feb. 11). This is due in large part to the lack of hard data on the number of jobs created as a result of these expensive tax credits. Because these data are not publicly available, we have no way of measuring how effective the credit has been in stimulating economic development.

Governor Patrick has called upon the Legislature to make this information public, a move that many of my colleagues and I strongly support. So I was pleased to see the authors of the recent UMass Boston film industry study agree that it would also be useful to increase public access to granular data on the film tax credit program because this “data would be a great benefit to future research on this complex industry.”

In this time of massive budget cuts, we need to examine where every public dollar is going, and what impact it is having. I hope that film industry leaders will join us in calling for public disclosure of the results of these tax credit programs. If they are truly creating jobs in a cost-effective way, the results will show that.

The writer is state senator for the Middlesex and Worcester district.

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