News Column

House Approves Stern's Bill to Support Film Industry, Job Creation

May 6, 2014



HARRISBURG, Pa., May 6 -- The Pennsylvania State House Republican Caucus issued the following news release on the behalf of Pennsylvania State Rep. Jerry Stern:

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives today approved legislation authored by Rep. Jerry Stern (R-Blair) designed to boost job creation and retention and increase state revenues through support of the state's growing film industry.

Stern's House Bill 2083 (http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/billInfo/billInfo.cfm?sYear=2013&sInd=0&body=H&type=B&bn=2083) would enable the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) to use approximately $22.5 million in unused film tax credits from previous years to bring additional filming projects to the Commonwealth and meet current demand.

"The film industry in Pennsylvania continues to grow as more and more industry insiders learn of the great variety of filming locations we offer and the capable workforce we have to meet filming demands," said Stern, chairman of the House Tourism and Recreational Development Committee. "However, another big motivating factor for entertainment companies to shoot in Pennsylvania is the availability of film tax credits, which is why I think we need to capitalize on this and use those credits that are sitting dormant from years past."

The state's Film Tax Credit Program authorizes tax credits equal to 25 percent of production costs for projects if at least 60 percent of their total production budget is used for qualified Pennsylvania production expenses. The amount of tax credits available is capped at $60 million annually. Stern's legislation would not increase the cap, but it would allow for the recapture of credits from previous years that were never awarded. Currently, DCED cannot access those past credits and award them to another production unless the credits are used in the same fiscal year.

Since the enactment of the Film Tax Credit Program several years ago, the $367 million in credits awarded thus far has led to $2.7 billion in economic activity and supported more than 19,000 jobs.

"With interest in filming in Pennsylvania growing, we don't want to miss out on any potential job opportunities or revenue coming to the state when we have unused tax credits that could be used to entice a film company or television show to set up filming in the Commonwealth," said Stern. "This program has a proven history of success and I am pleased my colleagues in the House also see the potential for greater growth of the industry through my legislation."

House Bill 2083 now heads to the state Senate for consideration.

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Source: Targeted News Service


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