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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

On the spot

OK, the Ocean Spray cranberry ads -- you know the ones with the dorky guy who spills sugar in the bog -- are kind of cute.

But not this cute.

The jury is still out on the value of the value of a film tax credit that draws celebrities to Massachusetts to work -- but costs taxpayers more than in brings in. But subsidizing the production of TV commercials so Massachusetts companies can fatten up their bottom line?

I happen to drink both Ocean Spray cranberry juice and Samuel Adams beer. I pay for the product when I consume it. I pay a sales tax on the beer. This, pardon the expression, is hard to swallow.
Even companies that would owe little or no corporate income taxes in Massachusetts stand to benefit by selling the tax credits to other companies - at least $12 million of credits have already been sold to financial institutions - or back to the state, which pays 90 cents for every $1 in credits.
Can you say corporate welfare?

And someone should really explain the facts of political and tax life to the William Earon, the managing director of Coastal Capital Advisors LLC, a Boston private equity and consulting firm that serves the film industry. He suggests:
...the state should reimburse companies for a portion of their travel costs to fly in actors and crews, because there isn't enough talent in Massachusetts...
Maybe we should help them through TSA lines and pay for their rental cars and hotel rooms too?

Building a new industry, which Massachusetts is trying to do with television and film production, is not easy. And we all know you have to spend money to make money.

It might be easier to swallow losing cash to lure Kate Hudson and Cameron Diaz to work here in the off-chance hope that we might one day have a thriving new industry in a state that seems to export more industry than cranberries.

But I don't feel like paying the salary of idiots who dump sugar into the bogs.

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