On Aug. 27, Gov. Jerry Brown signed off on legislation to more than triple California’s film tax credits in an attempt to slow movie productions leaving California. At the stroke of Gov. Brown’s pen he increased California film tax credits from $100 million to $330 million.
If film tax credits are bad and not helpful to the economy, why would California lawmakers and the governor make such a giant increase in the program to keep movie production there? The reason is clear. California has learned the hard way that film production is vitally important to the economic health of the state.
Harrisburg should heed the tough lessons that California learned. Film production is equally important to Pennsylvania as it is to California. The current Pennsylvania program is capped at $60 million and the Pennsylvania film industry is working at less than half capacity. It is critically important that Pennsylvania be competitive with California, Louisiana and Georgia and uncap or significantly increase the film tax credit program in our commonwealth.
Movie productions create good-paying jobs and stimulate every segment of the Pennsylvania economy; that is a long-standing fact. It is time for Pennsylvania to step up and follow through on the track record of successful film productions that have already taken place in the commonwealth and become a truly competitive player on the national film scene.
Pittsburgh Film Office