January 21, 2011 by USA Post, (CP) – A quarter of tax breaks for film companies under the program of the Massachusetts film tax credit went to help filmmakers cover the paychecks of Hollywood stars millionaire.

An Associated Press review of a report from the Department of Revenue on the tax credit program and found that 82 million of the $ 330 million in spending credit eligible film in 2009 was used to pay salaries of non-resident actors earn over 1 million.

Under the program, a filmmaker can ask for a tax credit equal to 25 percent of film production and labor costs.

In 2009, the film company applied for a total of 82.4 million and loans in Massachusetts.

Critics have complained that the state should not give that amount to tax subsidies for Hollywood stars, but supporters say that without the program, there would be virtually no feature films shot in Massachusetts.

The Department of Revenue considers all feature films shot in Massachusetts in 2009, new expenses directly related to the tax credit program. Forty-four states and the District of Columbia also have tax credit programs, movies, a little more generous than Massachusetts.

While wages are movie star block important tax credits, wageworkers in Massachusetts has also factored into the equation.

The report indicates that film companies and paid over $ 42 million in wages and salaries for local workers in 2009. Proponents of the credit program film say that these jobs would not exist without tax breaks.

“What we consider most important tax credit for film production is its long-term outcomes, including jobs created, not only within the film industry, but local businesses,” said Joe Maiella, president of the Massachusetts Production Coalition, which represents the movie industry.

Supporters of the tax relief that point the movie stars do not receive direct tax relief. However, the film companies that employ them are able to use their wages and other production costs, the demand for tax credits.

Backers also notes that actors must continue to pay state taxes on all income they earn in the remaining years to the movies they make here.

Movies money Big shot in Massachusetts in 2009 include “The Fighter”, tracing the career of boxer Micky Ward, Lowell and starring Mark Wahlberg, a native of Boston, “The Social Network”, describing the origin of Facebook, co-founded by Mark Zuckerberg in his Harvard dorm in 2004, and Ben Affleck movie “The City”, focusing on a team of Boston bank robbery.

All told, there were about 18 major films and television productions in Massachusetts in 2009.

Although there is no information in the report of the Department of Revenue at how each film called tax credits, which is changing.

A law passed last year requires state officials to begin collecting revenue and reports how much each film is given in tax credits each year. The first report is expected in spring 2012 to take account of films shot in Massachusetts in 2011.

The new information reveals how much each player is not paid.

The tax credit for film production has sparked a heated debate last year on Beacon Hill after Governor Deval Patrick has proposed capping the tax credit program and $ 50 million, pointing to tighter state once the exercise.

Industry representatives and trade unions have protested the proposed cap and were rejected.

The number of films shot in Massachusetts plunged in 2010, but industry officials are hoping to rebound in 2011.

Supervision Program film tax credit has been transferred to the State Office of Travel and Tourism. The office has established an advisory group to help sell the state as a location for film production companies.



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Massachusetts Film Office:

Copyright © 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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