Film tax credit program will see expansion in PA
The state Senate has approved legislation backed by Sen. Wayne D. Fontana (D-Allegheny) that will bolster Pennsylvania’s film and television industry by expanding the state’s film tax credit program.
“The state’s film tax credit program is an economic gift that continues to give,” said Sen. Fontana, who has fought to expand the tax credit program for the past several years. “This incentive program has attracted film and television projects throughout Pennsylvania and has pumped over $2 billion directly into Pennsylvania’s economy since the program’s inception.”
Under the legislation, which was included in the state’s tax code (House Bill 1198), the maximum available tax credits would expand from $60 million to $65 million beginning in Fiscal Year 2017-2018. Fontana estimated that each dollar invested in the film tax credit program generates approximately seven times that amount in economic impact. The tax credit program is also credited with creating 19,000 jobs and sustaining thousands more.
The tax code bill would also make more money available to the state’s film production tax credit program by recapturing unused credits from the previous year. Currently, the state Department of Community and Economic Development is not authorized to access unused approved film tax credits and award them to another production unless the credits are from the same fiscal year. Fontana said his proposal (Senate Bill 219) would provide flexibility so that unused credits could be awarded to new productions the following year.
Along with making unused tax credits available, Sen. Fontana introduced a separate bill (Senate Bill 218) that would expand the available tax credits to $125 million annually.
“While the program’s expansion in tax code measure doesn’t go as far as I would prefer, this boost acknowledges the success of the program and will hopefully spark greater legislative interest in expanding the program even further,” he said.
The Brookline lawmaker added that 38 states offer some type of film tax credit program, and that his bill would help Pennsylvania “remain competitive and continue to attract this industry to our state.”
Following legislative approval, the tax code legislation now goes to Gov. Tom Wolf for enactment.