Now US state Massachusetts looks to offer games tax break

Now US state Massachusetts looks to offer games tax break
Michael French

By Michael French

July 7th 2008 at 8:17AM

Move would follow similar subsidies available in Georgia and Wisconsin

Authorities in the US state of Massachusetts are considering the introduction of a new games tax break to help boost its local industry, the Boston Globe reports.

Under the scheme studios would be able to claim back up to 20 per cent of their costs back from the government if the team's project involved a local investment of at least half a million dollars in the cost of building a new studio.

The move would follow the introduction of a similar economic boost for local film companies. The games-specific tax break would be brought into effect as a widening of the support of the local film industry.

The state, whose capital city Boston hosts an number of developers including Rock Band dev Harmonix and BioShock creator 2K Boston, already boasts around 1,000 game developers - making it the fifth-largest region for games in the USA according the ESA.

Other prominent developers there include Blue Fang Games and Turbine.

According to the Globe Turbine's CFO Peter Faubert said the studio is looking to add another 100 employees to its 300-man headcount, so the tax breaks would be of use.

However, it's still open to debate if the proposed games tax breaks will be part of the film credits or a separate bill - or if they will be made law at all. Some legislators say the costs would be better spent elsewhere, while others are concerned that some wording in the bill would suggests a tax break for all kinds of interactive entertainment, including slot machines.

Authorities said it was still considering the idea but hadn't taken a public position on it yet.

Recently, the states of Georgia and Wisconsin introduced their own tax breaks for games developers.