State Study Finds RI Film/TV Incentives Generate Only 27 Cents For Every Dollar Spent

Apr 18, 2018

The tax incentive program backed by state lawmakers was introduced in 2005.
Credit Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

A new study finds that Rhode Island’s film and TV tax credit is losing the state more than $1.8 million a year.

The main finding of the study by the state Office of Revenue Assessment is that Rhode Island generates only 27 cents for every dollar spent on the film tax credit. The study looked at 14 film and TV productions from 2013 to 2015.

The report says the goals of the tax credit program  are poorly defined, and that data on the program’s performance is inconsistent and unreliable. Rather than scrapping the incentive, the study recommends making changes to address the shortcomings.

The film/TV tax credit program was introduced in 2005.

The state Film and TV Office responds by saying there’s more to the story than the revenue Department's findings.

In a statement, the office says film and TV incentives offer more than tangible benefits and that using incentives to lure movie-makers to Rhode Island is a unique way to promote the state. The office says the arts offer community enrichment, education and a platform for innovation.