|My name is Jeremy Woodward. I was one of the out-of-state employees cited in the 2012 DOR report on the Massachusetts film tax incentive. At the time, I lived in Rhode Island and commuted to Boston for work. Today, I live in Massachusetts. My wife and I are both freelance designers. My work is in film and television, hers is in commercial photography. We used to have great film work in Rhode Island, and it made sense for us to live there for the lower cost of living. I had the pleasure of working close to home in Rhode Island on many excellent productions that took place in the Ocean State prior to 2011 when the RIFTC was capped. When it was capped, there was simply no more work for us in Rhode Island.
It soon became clear that Massachusetts’ film tax incentive was powerfully effective at attracting projects to the Boston area. So we determined it was time to move here, in order to spend less time commuting and more time with our children. The Massachusetts incentive only subsidized 25% of a portion of half of our household’s income, but it was the tipping point that induced us to move here. When we moved from Rhode Island to Massachusetts, we brought with us all of our personal spending on groceries and property taxes and fuel and clothes and dentists and piano lessons and new soccer cleats for the kids. We moved the corporation we own to Massachusetts, which now pays taxes to the commonwealth. Additionally, all of our business spending now happens in Massachusetts instead of Rhode Island. My wife spends tens of thousands of dollars shopping for photo clients and is developing new relationships with retailers in Massachusetts, who are now the recipients of that money (much to the chagrin of her regular Rhode Island vendors). The film tax incentive is effective in bringing revenue to Massachusetts in so many ways that were not accounted for by the DOR in its report, and we are just one small example of that.