Reconsider your proposed plan
Dear Governor Baker:
On behalf of the Executive Committee of the Chelsea Chamber of Commerce, I am writing to express our disagreement with your exploration of eliminating the MA Film Tax Credit. Though your desire to increase the earned income tax credit is laudable, we feel your planned method to achieve this will be at the expense of small businesses here in Chelsea who work with film crews brought to Massachusetts by the existing credit. Furthermore, these small businesses employ small staffs of employees whose positions would suffer if the tax credit were eliminated. Lastly, there are residents of Chelsea of various lines of work who earn their livings working with local film production. As their employment goes, so go their spending in our local economy. We feel it is a miscalculation to believe that the elimination of the Film Tax Credit will not deter studios from filming in Massachusetts, Toronto, Canada has long stood in as an inexpensive “Any City, USA” and will do so again under your proposal.
Because I expect you will be receiving several letters from individual Chelsea Chamber members, I will share the experience of just one of our members here. He reports that 15% of his 2014 sales were due to film production in Eastern Massachusetts. Presently this member is supplying product to two major films, with several more to begin in coming months. He employs a small staff at ordinary wages. An end of the Film Tax Credit would result in a significant loss of revenue for this business, which in turn would endanger his employees’ incomes.
We ask that you reconsider your proposed plan and that you acknowledge that there are small, local businesses and their employees in communities like Chelsea whose livelihoods depend upon the film industry that has been drawn to Massachusetts due to the present tax credit.