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Mass. Tax Credits Used To Cover Movie Stars' Wages

A quarter of the tax breaks given movie companies under Massachusetts' film tax credit program have gone to help cover the salaries of millionaire movie stars.

An Associated Press review of a Department of Revenue report on the program found that $82 million of the $330 million in film spending eligible for the tax credits in 2009 went to help cover the salaries of nonresident actors earning more than $1 million.

Under the program a film production can apply for a tax credit equal to 25 percent of a film's production and payroll costs. In 2009 film companies applied for a total of $82.4 million in credits.

Critics have complained the state shouldn't be giving tax breaks to help filmmakers hire Hollywood stars, but supporters say that without the program, there would be virtually no feature films shot in Massachusetts.

This program aired on January 12, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

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