Fontana Calls for Strengthening State’s Film Tax Credit program

State Sen. Wayne D. Fontana (D-Allegheny) has introduced legislation that would make more money available to the state’s film production tax credit program by recapturing unused credits from the previous year.

If such a law were currently in place, nearly $22 million more in credits would be available to attract film and television productions to Pennsylvania this year.

“As I have said many times, the state’s film tax credit program is the gift that continues to give,” Fontana said. “The more we give, the more it gives back. Pennsylvania reaps so much more in economic benefits than it expends on this program.

“Thus, every credit we can make available is a plus.”

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’s bill would provide flexibility so that unused credits could be awarded to new productions the following year.Senate Bill 1313 would not apply the amount of reissued credits to the state’s annual $60 million cap on credits. Thus, the Fontana bill would, in effect, expand Pennsylvania’s maximum credit amount by more than 33 percent.

Fontana said 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.

“The film production tax credit program has proven to be quite successful,” Fontana said. “It has helped inject more than $1 billion directly into Pennsylvania’s economy, generating an estimated $1.8 billion in total economic activity and supporting nearly 14,500 jobs.

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