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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

ECONOMIC BENEFITS OF FILM TAX CREDIT FAR OUTWEIGH COST

Distinguished University Professor Reports $56.7 Million In Credits Results In $465.5 Million for Rhode Island's Economy and 4,184 New FTE Jobs

RHODE ISLAND~-With the Ocean State's high unemployment rate and elected officials searching for ways to improve Rhode Island's economy, the Motion Picture Production Tax Credit attracts thousands of high paying jobs, supports small businesses, and is crucial to the state's economy, according to a new, comprehensive study from Dr. Edward M. Mazze, Distinguished University Professor of Business Administration, The University of Rhode Island, titled, The Economic Impact of the Motion Picture Production Tax Credit on the Rhode Island Economy for the years 2005-2009.

The state and local economic benefits brought by hosting a major motion picture or television production are dynamic, and the total economic activity in Rhode Island that resulted from the $56.7 million tax credits from the period of 2005 through 2009 was $465.51 million dollars. The tax credit was responsible for creating and supporting 4,184 new FTE jobs. This does not include over 10,000 background extras used in the film and television productions.

"The Motion Picture Tax Credit was, and is, critical to the film and television production industry in Rhode Island, and vital to the state's economy. For every $1 dollar invested in the tax credit, over $8 of economic activity resulted. The economic benefits of the tax credit far outweigh the state's investment in the program," said Dr. Edward M. Mazze.

"The Rhode Island Film Collaborative was excited to sponsor a study by such an esteemed expert in the field of business as Dr. Mazze. His thorough examination offers crucial insight into the value of filmmaking to our community and to our local economy", said Mark Fogarty, RIFC President.

"Dr. Mazze's report on the economic impact of the tax credit on Rhode Island confirms what IATSE Local 481 has seen since the credit's inception in 2005: the creation of thousands of new jobs in the state", said Chris 0' Donnell, Business Manager, IATSE Local 481, "Local 481 membership in Rhode Island since 2005 has increased 350%. These are well paying jobs which typically provide health insurance and retirement benefits."

Dr. Mazze also indicated other positive impacts of the film tax credit that were not easily quantifiable:
- support of Rhode Island's cultural and historic sites
- formation of new businesses to support film and television production companies
- support of the state's creative sector
- local internship opportunities for students
- out-of-state students enrolling in film and television courses at Rhode Island's colleges and universities
- reduces the loss of skilled workers to other states
- support of other employment sectors such as leisure and hospitality, business and professional services, construction and education
- tourism from out-of-state visitors
- support of local film festivals
- support of charities, and
- global publicity for the state
"For years, we have received an overwhelming amount of correspondence with anecdotal evidence supporting the Motion Picture Incentive Program. Many citizens, small businesses, officials from cities and towns, tourism experts, college and university educators, community organizers, and charitable organizations have all shared the importance of this program and its positive influence on their lives. Dr. Mazze's study now mathematically proves it.

Through hard data and solid facts, his research clearly measures the total impact of the tax credit on Rhode Island's economy," said Steven Feinberg, Executive Director of the Rhode Island Film & TV Office. "We have a unique state due to our small size and diversity of locations as well as a strong talent pool and crew base. Filmmaking is a rapid growing industry. It has tremendous positive benefits--both artistic and economic--and it must be recognized as one of the most promising, vital lanes to Rhode Island's road for future economic success."

Over 45 states in the United States have some form of film tax credit program. To contact Dr. Edward M. Mazze, please call 401-295-5802

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