SUFFOLK POLL: Voters support film tax credit by wide margin

Tax credits for movie companies were favored by 64 percent and opposed by 20 percent.

September 24, 2009

The STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE reported yesterday that Massachusetts voters overwhelmingly approve of the film tax credit—which, since 2006, has resulted in a dramatic increase in film and television production in the state.

The question (below) was part of a survey of 500 registered voters conducted between September 12th and 15th by Suffolk University and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percent. Of those polled, 39 percent were registered Democrats, 15 percent Republicans, and 44 percent independents.

64% of those polled favored the film tax credit, 20% opposed it, and 16% were undecided.

Support for the film tax credit has remained strong, despite the economic downturn. A similar poll, conducted in August of 2008 showed 63% in favor, 22% opposed, and 15% undecided.

Other poll results:

— 38 percent said the state was heading in the right direction and 51 percent said it was on the wrong track;

— 54 percent supported adding a recall vote to allow citizens to remove an elected official for underperformance, with 38 percent against;

— A plan to repeal the recently enacted sales tax hike was supported 59-36;

— A plan to eliminate all tolls was supported by 35 percent and opposed by 60 percent;

— By an 81-17 margin, those polled said they support changing Massachusetts law to allow terminally or seriously ill patients to use, grow and purchase marijuana for medical purposes if they have the approval and are under supervision of their physicians.

Here is the exact language of the film tax credit question:

A recent tax credit for movie companies has resulted in fourteen movies made in Massachusetts in the past twelve months. Proponents say the tax credit is good because it bring jobs and new money into the state. Opponents say that a tax credit for movie companies is bad policy because it costs the state more than it is worth, given other state programs that need revenue.

Which is closer to your view?

N= 500 100%

Tax credit good – added jobs and new money (322) 64%

Tax credit for movie companies is bad policy (100) 20%
because cost is too high

Undecided (74) 15%

Refused (4) 1%

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