Connecticut Film Tax Credit Debate

PoliticsState BudgetsCredit and DebtConnecticut Voices for ChildrenEntertainmentMovies

Since 2006, Connecticut has gotten more of the Hollywood action, particularly after legislators passed a film tax credit program, which translated into big time savings for movie makers. That meant anywhere up to a 30% tax credit if they shoot in the state.

"It's jobs, it's sales tax, it's income tax being paid to the state. It's all of those sorts of things that happen when you bring in an industry to the state," said Karen Senich, Executive Director of Connecticut's Commission on Culture and Tourism.

However, a local child advocacy group called for "wrap" when it came to the credits. Connecticut Voices for Children said after receiving data from the Commission on Culture and Tourism, the group put together it's own report, which showed the state losing money, and not making the gains necessary to make a profit.

"Connecticut has issued $113 million in tax credits, so the question one has to ask as a taxpayer is, what are we getting in return? What the data from other states suggest is that these credits, on average, lose money for the state," said Shelley Geballe of Connecticut Voices.

And though the data came from her department, Senich disagreed with Connecticut Voice's findings.

"What that study did was look at an incomplete chart that was prepared by my office, but was incomplete. It was released to Connecticut Voices for Children. Somebody who has no knowledge of what went into that chart, is creating their own report for their own purposes," said Senich.

Connecticut Voices suggested an elimination of film tax credits altogether, or setting up a cap on tax credits. But supporters of the film industry said that could mean losing production companies to other states, who offer more competitive incentives.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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