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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: December 13, 2018 04:06 PM
From: Senator Thomas H. Killion
To: All Senate members
Subject: Film Production Tax Credit Increase
I intend to introduce legislation that would increase the cap on the Film Production Tax Credit’s funding from $65 million to $125 million.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development’s 2017-18 Film Production Tax Credit Program Report, since the program’s inception in 2007 through the end of FY 2017-18 approximately 750 applicants have applied to the program and 478 productions have been approved/awarded tax credits. These companies have directly injected nearly $2.7 billion into the state’s economy; generated an estimated $4.5 billion in total economic activity and $593 million in total state and local taxes; and supported an estimated 21,000 full-time equivalent jobs.

The Commonwealth’s indigenous film and tv production industry requires a robust, sustainable, certain and competitive state film production tax credit in order to continue to be attracted to Pennsylvania. Since the state’s current tax credit program is capped at $65 million, an untold number of projects are turned away each year due to lack of funding. By mid-year when the program typically runs out of money, production companies simply look to another state because they know Pennsylvania’s program has been exhausted. They don’t even bother talking to our crews, visiting our production sites or scouting locations. Projects simply take their crew and, more importantly, their tax revenues to another state.

I have a film and tv production studio located in my district which has hosted dozens of productions. Most recently, Creed II, the eighth installment of the Rocky movie franchise was filmed in southeastern PA, including my district. I am proud to say that the PA Film Production Tax Credit helped Creed II make Box Office history! Creed II became the biggest Thanksgiving weekend debut ever for a live-action release. It is the largest ever Thanksgiving release for a film not associated with Disney and it was the largest opening weekend for any movie in the Rocky franchise.

By increasing the cap on the film production tax credit, we are taking an important first step in meeting the demand of the film and tv production industry who want to film in Pennsylvania. I know from first-hand experience that these companies want to film in Pennsylvania but right now our program cannot support their efforts. Increasing the tax credit program will bring more projects to PA and thus a larger economic impact, more jobs and more revenue to the Commonwealth.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation.

Introduced as SB185