The Massachusetts House voted unanimously Monday to make permanent the state’s controversial film tax credit, strongly endorsing a tax break recently panned by a government commission and teeing up a dispute with the Senate, which takes a dimmer view of the program.
In the past, supporters have extended the program for a few years at a time, but this week’s amendment by Representative Tackey Chan, a Democrat from Quincy, would extend it indefinitely. The 15-year-old program has survived many attempts to end it, including two by Governor Charlie Baker, and it faces skepticism from Democratic leaders in the Senate.
Without Senate support, the program would “sunset” at the end of 2022. Chan said it was important to guarantee its funding well ahead of that deadline so that film executives can plan future projects in the state. And he said the program has helped the industry — and the state — so much that it should be permanent.
“At this stage, this is no longer an experiment,” Chan said. “This is now real and part of our lives. To take the sunset off makes perfect sense . . . This is going to be a big part of our post-pandemic recovery.”