Proposed Massachusetts Incentives For Developers Face Challenges

Recent challenges for state-backed business in Massachusetts might have a negative effect on proposed tax cuts for the state's game developers, as state legislators prepare to consider a new proposal.
Massachusetts legislators are considering implementing tax breaks for the state's game developers, now that Rep. Vincent Pedone (D-Worcester) has filed a bill he says incorporates "as many ideas as the industry thought was important to build critical mass here in Massachusetts." But as the discussion progresses, likely challenges are emerging for the recently-proposed legislation, which seeks to grow the state's industry from $2 billion to $20 billion within five years. A recent report from Mass High Tech says that the state might be cautious to back any industry with tax incentives. Recently, energy firm Evergreen Solar, backed by some $31 million in state funding, revealed it had to cut 800 jobs and close one of its plants, putting a damper on the notion that incentives surely create jobs. The Bay State's small, but is home to developers with significant industry presence such as Turbine, Irrational, and Harmonix. But 38 Studios, the MMO developer founded by former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, recently left the state to gain the benefit of incentives from Rhode Island. "Members of the Legislature may not agree with [the financing proposals] in the wake of Evergreen Solar taking tax credits and leaving the commonwealth,” Pedone told Mass High Tech, explaining he considers the new draft legislation "a starting point to get the discussion going."

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