Increase the revenue stream. Create local jobs. Support the Film Industry Incentive in Pennsylvania.


What incentives does the PA Film Industry Incentive offer?

Pennsylvania offers a 25% tax credit to films that spend at least 60% of their total production budget in the Commonwealth. This equates to money spent on anything from equipment to office supplies and everything in between (including hiring and filming locally). In addition, there is an incentive to freely use State owned property and a tax incentive at Pennsylvania hotels for cast and crew staying 30 (or more) consecutive days.

"The economic value of the arts and cultural production in the United States contributes more than twice the amount generated by mining (including oil and gas extraction). The motion picture industry adds more to the US economy than the total value added by automobile manufacturing."

~BEA (U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis

Important Links

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  • Tuesday, August 08, 2023 4:02 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    After a month-long delay, Governor Josh Shapiro has signed the $45.5 billion FY24 budget into law. The bill makes important investments in several key areas, including education, community and economic development, indigent defense, infrastructure, and resources for law enforcement and first responders, among others. While both chambers of the General Assembly had approved a $45.5 billion spending plan by early July, the budget was not able to be officially finalized until Senate President Pro Tempore Kim Ward (R-Westmoreland) called the chamber back into session for Thursday, August 3, in order to avoid further delays in critical state education and human services payments.

    The primary sticking point was a $100 million line item for a controversial school voucher program — dubbed “lifeline scholarships” by proponents — which Governor Shapiro agreed to veto in order to persuade House Democrats to pass the budget back on July 5, despite having worked across the aisle to help create it. This week, Governor Shapiro honored that line-item veto commitment and also agreed to reserve a $1.1 billion portion of the spending plan for the time being for continued negotiations among lawmakers. This means funding will be delayed for mental health grants, public defenders’ offices, a home repairs program, “Level Up” funds targeted to the state’s poorest schools, and hospital emergency relief.

    Legislative leaders acknowledged the need to continue negotiations on budget-related “code” bills as these pieces of legislation specifically dictate how money in certain general fund line items are distributed. Code bills sometimes also include policy changes that are negotiated by all four caucuses and the Governor. There is no timeline for when these budget-related bills might pass. Historically, changes to the Entertainment Production Tax Credit program have taken place in a budget-related code. This is the case for both funding changes and programmatic changes. So while some of the FY 2023-24 has been completed, our advocacy to increase the film tax credit continues as decisions on this program have not yet been finalize.

    In other news…Democratic state Representative Sara Innamorato resigned from the PA House on Wednesday, July 19, in order to focus on her campaign for Allegheny County executive, which she is favored to win. This marks the third time this year that House Democrats will be forced to defend their majority, as the chamber is now tied once again at 101-101. Lindsay Powell has been selected as the Democratic nominee to fill the now-vacant House District 21 seat for a special election that will take place on Tuesday, September 19, before the General Assembly reconvenes in the fall. If elected, Powell would be the first Black woman to represent the district. The Allegheny County Republican Committee selected Erin Connolly Autenreith as their nominee for the special election. Autenreith, of Shaler Township, is a Realtor who also chairs the Shaler Township Republican Committee. 

    Below is the fall session schedule that has been announced by both chambers.


    September 18, 19, 20
    October 2, 3, 4, 16, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25
    November 13, 14, 15
    December 11, 12, 13


    September 26, 27
    October 2, 3, 4, 16, 17, 18, 30, 31
    November 1, 13, 14, 15

  • Wednesday, June 28, 2023 12:17 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    General Assembly

    With Republican Michael Stender’s defeat of Democrat Trevor Finn and Libertarian Elijah Scretching in House District 108 in Central Pennsylvania and Democrat Heather Boyd’s victory over Republican Katie Ford in House District 163 in Delaware County, special elections have once again secured Democratic control of the chamber. Over the course of the campaigns, Pennsylvania Democrats spent more than $1 million in hopes of defending their narrow majority. The races have earned national attention, with President Joe Biden endorsing Democrat Heather Boyd.

    And there are likely even more special elections on the horizon, as current state Representatives Sara Innamorato and John Galloway have good chances of winning their November general elections for Allegheny County Executive and district court judge, respectively.

    While the special elections stole much of the focus at the beginning of the month, both chambers of the General Assembly have been hard at work passing legislation. Democrats in the state House have taken the opportunity to flex their progressive muscles by passing an expansion of protections for LGBTQ+ people, a guarantee to the right to organized labor and collective bargaining in Pennsylvania’s constitution, a “red flag” bill that would allow law enforcement to temporarily seize firearms from a person deemed an immediate threat to themselves or others and a bill to close the “gun show loophole,” and a bill to broaden the definition of “ethnic intimidation.” Meanwhile, the Republican-controlled Senate passed legislation to ban safe-injection sites, among other legislation. Bills passed in each chamber likely face uphill battles in the other chamber.

    The state House also now has a new caucus — the Pennsylvania Progressive Caucus is comprised of a group of 34 state representatives seeking to halt political corruption and curb the impact of corporate interests on legislation.

    Looking ahead to June, the Legislature will turn their attention to budget negotiations in order to pass a FY 2023-24 general fund budget before the end of the Commonwealth’s fiscal year on June 30th. Today, the PA Department of Revenue announced that fiscal year-to-date general fund collections are $1.2 billion, or 2.9 percent, above estimate. 

    Governor Shapiro

    Governor Josh Shapiro kicked off the month by signing the first bill of his administration — a bill that requires insurers to cover preventative breast and ovarian cancer screenings to women who are considered high-risk at no additional cost.

    May also saw the confirmation of several of Governor Shapiro’s cabinet nominees, including Mike Carroll as transportation secretary, Rick Siger as community and economic development secretary, Jason Kavulich as aging secretary, Russell Redding as secretary of agriculture. Governor Shapiro’s pick for secretary of state, Al Schmidt, is still undergoing a multi-hearing confirmation process.

    PAFIA Engagement

    We continue to work with the four film industry caucus chairs in our efforts to have the film production tax credit increased to $300 million in next year’s budget. As the pace of the legislative session picks up, our outreach to legislators and staff will become more nuisance as we filter through all the “noise” in Harrisburg to ensure this budget request is top of mind. The Cozen team will be bringing David Haddad to Harrisburg for some targeted meetings and we will remain engaged with other industry stakeholders to ensure a unified advocacy effort.

  • Friday, April 14, 2023 10:28 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The state House kicked off the month of March by finally passing its session operating rules, which had been delayed due to the chamber leadership dispute that was ultimately resolved by three February special elections in Allegheny County. The new rules included procedural reforms that grant the chamber’s minority party, currently Republicans, more agency in the legislative process, a rules change that had been long called for by independent watchdogs to facilitate the body’s responsiveness to constituent needs.

    However, this accomplishment in the House was quickly overshadowed by the allegations of sexual harassment levied against Democratic State Representative Mike Zabel (Delaware) and his subsequent resignation in mid-March. A lobbyist for Service Employees International Union BJ32 was the first to publicly speak out about Rep. Zabel’s inappropriate behavior, after which at least three others — including a current State Representative — came forward with similar claims.

    Now, House Democrats maintain a narrow 101-100 majority heading into two May 16 special elections. Democratic educator and former school board director Heather Boyd will face Republican Army veteran and special education therapist Kathleen Ford in the race for former Rep. Zabel’s seat in House District 163, while Democratic Montour County Commissioner Trevor Finn and Republican Shikellamy director Mike Stender will be competing for now State Senator Lynda Culver Schlehel’s former seat in House District 108.

    On March 7, Governor Josh Shapiro delivered the first budget address of his administration, highlighting his goal of bipartisan collaboration in Harrisburg. Priorities put forth in the $44.4 billion proposed budget include funding for new mental health, public safety, and workforce development programs. A transcript of the address in its entirety can be read here. Governor Shapiro did not propose any changes (ie no funding increase) to the Film Production Tax Credit in his budget.

    Since the Legislature adjourned session on March 8, both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees have been holding budget hearings with various state agencies and departments to dive deeper into Governor Shapiro’s proposed budget. These budget hearings continue into mid-April with the House and Senate both returning to voting session on Monday, April 24.

    Looking ahead to May, the Film Industry Legislative Reception is scheduled for Monday, May 1 from 4pm-6pm in the state Capitol’s East Wing Rotunda. Additional information about the reception will be shared soon.

  • Monday, March 13, 2023 8:45 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The month of February began with much anticipation for the three February 7 special elections in Allegheny County that would ultimately determine control of the PA State House, thus ending a weeks-long standstill in the chamber — and by extension, the entire legislative branch. During this time, House Speaker Mark Rozzi continued his statewide listening tour to solicit feedback from constituents throughout Pennsylvania, many of whom expressed frustration and disappointment with the partisan gridlock in Harrisburg.

    As early campaign finance reports indicated, Democratic candidates won all three special elections, making campaign and party staffer Joe McAndrew, attorney Abigail Salisbury, and McKeesport political fixture Matt Gergely the state’s newest House Representatives in Districts 32, 34, and 35, respectively. The three representatives filled seat vacancies left by the late longtime state Representative Tony DeLuca, U.S. Representative Summer Lee, and Lieutenant Governor Austin Davis. These elections gave Democrats a one-vote majority in the House for the first time in 12 years. Representatives McAndrew, Salisbury, and Gergely were officially sworn in on February 21.

    On February 24, the state House approved legislation in Special Session that had been at the top of House Speaker Mark Rozzi’s priority list and would open a two-year window for sexual abuse victims whose statute of limitations has expired to file lawsuits. A few days later, on February 28, Speaker Rozzi officially stepped down as Speaker, paving the way for the House to elect Representative Joanna McClinton to the House speakership in a 102-99 vote. She is the first female and second Black person to serve in the role. Shortly after her swearing in, House Democrats formally announced their leadership team:

    • Rep. Matt Bradford (Montgomery): Majority Leader
    • Rep. Jordan Harris (Philadelphia): Appropriations Chair
    • Rep. Dan Miller (Allegheny): Whip
    • Rep. Leanne Krueger (Delaware): Caucus Administrator
    • Rep. Tina Davis (Bucks): Caucus Secretary
    • Rep. Mike Schlossberg (Lehigh): Caucus Chairman
    • Rep. Ryan Bizzaro (Erie): Policy Chairman

    On February 27, Lynda Schlegel Culver resigned her position in the House in order to be sworn in as the new Senator for District 27 — increasing both Senate Republicans’ majority and House Republicans’ minority. Senator Culver fills a vacancy left by former Senator John Gordner, who left his seat to take on a new role in the office of Senate President Pro Tempore Kim Ward. A special election to fill Senator Culver’s former seat in the House has not yet been called.

    On March 1, the House finally passed its operating rules for the two-year term. The rules are a bit different than previous terms as changes include:

    • The party split in most legislative committees will be 12 to 9 instead of 15 to 10. 
    • The number of signatures needed for a successful committee discharge resolution was increased from 25 to 50 and there is a new requirement that the group be bipartisan and made up of 25 Republicans and 25 Democrats.
    • Legislation providing for constitutional amendments now much have at least one hearing before being considered by the full chamber.
    • Anyone who comes in contact with a lawmaker can now report that lawmaker for sexual harassment. Previously, only lawmakers themselves, and staff, could file a report with the House Ethics Committee

    Looking ahead to March, Governor Josh Shapiro will be giving his first budget address next week. He is expected to touch on funding for local communities — particularly the revitalization of Main Streets throughout the commonwealth — as well as investment in child care. The Legislature will be in session on March 7, 8, and 9 before recessing for the remainder of the month to hold Appropriations Committee hearings on Shapiro’s proposed budget. Links to the House and Senate budget hearings schedules can be found online.

  • Thursday, February 02, 2023 8:37 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The PA House continues to be at standstill since the Democrats and Republicans were not able to agree to operating rules for the chamber. As such no legislative standing committees can be established and bills cannot officially be introduced. Speaker Mark Rozzi (D-Berks) has embarked on a statewide listening tour to meet with the public and good government groups to address the gridlock and invited members of the Speaker’s Workgroup to Move Pennsylvania Forward to join him.

    Many insiders believe the outcome of the three special elections (House Districts 32, 34 and 35) scheduled for Tuesday, February 7 will finally end the stalemate. With the Commonwealth Court’s ruling this month that all these elections may take place in February, it is anticipated that the Democrats will regain their seated majority in the House. Right now, the House is not set to return to session until Monday, February 27 and a more detailed session schedule for the rest of the spring has yet been released.

    In the meantime, the House R’s have basically thrown their hands up in the air and named their standing committee chairs even though the committees have not been set up. A list of those committee chairs can be found here. At least one of the Republican chairs will change soon as Rep Linda Culver, named as the Republican Chair for the House Children and Youth Committee, is the front runner for the state Senate seat vacated by Republican Sen John Gordner’s retirement. The special election for that seat was Tuesday, Jan 31.

    The Senate has started the new legislative term in a more conventional manner. Chamber rules have been passed, committee chairs have been named, bills have started to be introduced and the chamber has even voted on a few pieces of legislation. The Senate session schedule has changed a bit due to the pause on the Larry Krasner impeachment proceedings and the lack of legislative action in the House. The updated Senate schedule can be found below.

    January            3, 6 (NV), 9, 10, 11, 17, 18
    February          27, 28
    March              1, 6, 7, 8
    April                24, 25, 26
    May                 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10
    June                 5, 6, 7, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30

    Governor Josh Shapiro and Lt. Governor Austin Davis have both sworn into office. Members of Shapiro’s cabinet who will require Senate confirmation have all been official nominated for their respective offices so that lengthy process can begin. Attached to this email is a list of Shapiro’s executive leadership team along with brief biographies. 

    Governor Shapiro has signed several new executive orders, most of which follow up on promises made during the campaign.

    • January 18 – Elimination of college degree requirement for nearly 65,000 state jobs – article
    • January 20 – Implementation of a 3-part ethics package for employees under the Governor’s jurisdiction – new article
    • January 24 - Creating the Office of Transformation and Opportunity – press release
    Governor Shapiro continues to build out his team — primarily at the deputy secretary level, etc., — however, we do know that Shapiro will present his first ever budget address on Tuesday, March 7.

  • Friday, November 04, 2022 11:02 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The month of October saw a flurry of legislative activity as the end of the 2021-22 legislative session draws to an end on November 30. Most bills that saw action in Harrisburg this month were issues that both political parties could agree on. It was very challenging to move legislation that had opposition, and bills that were contentious fell off the voting calendar and will need to wait until next session to be addressed.

    The House is scheduled to return to session November 14-16, and the Senate is scheduled to return to session on November 15 to close out the current legislative term. While we had anticipated that the brief legislative schedule during “sine die” (the time period after the General Election and before the end of session on November 30) would be focused only on caucus leadership elections, House leadership has indicated that they will be voting on a few bills. While on its own merit, passing bills during sine die that are before the House on a concurrence vote is relatively harmless, it can be a dicey time if the Republican majority tries to pass more partisan legislation. We will be sure to keep you posted.

    Looking ahead to the November 8th general election, current Democratic Attorney General Josh Shapiro remains consistently ahead of his Republican gubernatorial opponent and current state senator Doug Mastriano in the polls. Shapiro has raised significantly more money this year (nearly $52 million) compared to Mastriano (nearly $6 million) as the race to be the next Governor is breaking state fundraising records. All 203 state House members and 25 of the 50 state Senate members are up for reelection next week. Based off of retirements, primary election results, and other circumstances, we already know that nearly 20% of the PA House membership will be newly elected on November 8th. In the PA Senate, we know that roughly 25% of the 25 members up for re-election will not be returning to the chamber next session. This turnover of rank and file legislators, in addition to the fact that caucus leadership teams and dozens of legislative standing committees will have new chairpersons, means Harrisburg will look a lot different in 2023.

    To close, we wanted to share the below public service announcement as it relates to Election Day next week. While every election is critical, there are several important seats on the ballot this year, and nearly one million Pennsylvanians have already cast mail-in ballots for U.S. Senate, Governor, Congress, state House and state Senate.

    Here’s what you need to know:

    Mail-In Ballots: The deadline to request a mail-in or absentee ballot was November 1, 2022. If you requested a ballot prior to that date and have not yet returned it, the Pennsylvania Department of State is now urging you to hand deliver your ballot to your county election office, designated drop box, or drop-off site. Mail-in and absentee ballots must be received no later than 8:00 P.M. on Tuesday, November 8. You can find your county election office, drop box, and drop-off sites here.

    Election Day: Polls are open on Tuesday, November 8, from 7:00 A.M. until 8:00 P.M. Find your polling location here.

    Click here for more information including what to do if you did not return your mail-in or absentee ballot.

    For more information about Pennsylvania’s elections, click here.

  • Wednesday, August 31, 2022 11:16 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The makeup of the PA Legislative and Executive Branches will look very different in 2023. Not only will PA have a new Governor (current Democratic Attorney General Josh Shapiro is running against current Republican State Senator Doug Mastriano) but, on November 8, 2022, all 203 House seats are up for re-election and 25 of the 50 Senate seats are up for re-election. After retirements and primary election results, we already know at least 51 members of the Legislature will not be returning to Harrisburg in 2023. These members include legislators from all four caucuses including those in caucus leadership, committee chairs and rank and file members. When also taking into account the results of November General Election, it is difficult to fully predict the political landscape for 2023. As a result, we will need to be nimble when setting legislative strategy for next year.

    While the 2021-2022 legislative session runs until November 30th, there are very few session days scheduled between now and the end of the term. The House will be in session for 12 days, with 9 of them taking place before the November election. The Senate will be in session for 10 days, also with 9 of them taking place before the November election. See below for a listing of each chamber’s remaining session schedule.

    When the House and Senate briefly return to session the week of November 14th, we expect that leadership elections for 2023-24 will take place in all four caucuses. So while we will know the new leadership teams in both chambers shortly after the General Election, we likely will not know committee chairs and committee assignments until December, and possibly not until January.  


    September    12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21

    October        24, 25, 26

    November    14, 15, 16



    September    19, 20, 21

    October         17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26

    November     15

  • Friday, August 12, 2022 4:58 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    A warm hello to our friends in film.

    July 2022 was a huge month for the film industry in Pennsylvania!!!! Given the craziness of everyday life, it is important to take a moment and celebrate our recent success of increasing the film tax credit by $30 million, from $70 million per fiscal year to $100 million per fiscal year. This increase would not have happened without all of your support over the last few years. Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies would like to thank David Haddad, members of the PAFIA board, and PAFIA’s general membership for everyone’s willingness to take time out of your busy schedules to advocate for the film industry. We also want to thank Senators Camera Bartolotta and Jay Costa and Representatives K.C. Tomlinson and Joe Ciresi for their leadership on this issue. Their email addresses are listed below. Please consider sending them a brief thank you email recognizing their effort and hard work.

    A warm hello to our friends in film.

    July 2022 was a huge month for the film industry in Pennsylvania!!!! Given the craziness of everyday life, it is important to take a moment and celebrate our recent success of increasing the film tax credit by $30 million, from $70 million per fiscal year to $100 million per fiscal year. This increase would not have happened without all of your support over the last few years. Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies would like to thank David Haddad, members of the PAFIA board, and PAFIA’s general membership for everyone’s willingness to take time out of your busy schedules to advocate for the film industry. We also want to thank Senators Camera Bartolotta and Jay Costa and Representatives K.C. Tomlinson and Joe Ciresi for their leadership on this issue. Their email addresses are listed below. Please consider sending them a brief thank you email recognizing their effort and hard work.

    Senator Camera

    Senator Jay

    Representative K.C.

    Representative Joe

    Harrisburg is relatively quiet right now as the Legislature is currently in summer recess. The PA House and PA Senate do not return to voting session until mid-September. Legislators will be spending a lot of time in their districts campaigning as the November 8th General Election draws closer.

    We hope all of you are having a wonderful summer and don’t forget to take the time to celebrate the enormous victory we achieved together earlier this month!!!!

    Jim & Beth

  • Friday, April 22, 2022 10:35 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On Wednesday, April 20th, the Senate Finance Committee held a public hearing on Pennsylvania’s film tax credit program at the Omni William Penn Hotel in downtown Pittsburgh. Thank you to everyone who took time out of their busy schedules to either attend the hearing in-person or watch online. If you missed the hearing, please check out the Senate Finance Committee’s website here. It will give you access to all the written testimony that was submitted and a link to a recording of the one hour and 20 minute hearing.

    We were thrilled with the number of legislators in attendance at the hearing – Senate Finance Committee Republican Chairman Scott Hutchinson and Senate Finance Committee Democratic Chairman Wayne Fontana, Senator Camera Bartolotta (R), Senator Judy Ward (R), Senator Devlin Robinson (R), and Senator Jay Costa (D). As you may recall, Senators Bartolotta and Costa are the Senate co-chairs of the bi-partisan Legislative Film Caucus.

    Presenting testimony to the Senate Finance Committee was a group of film and hospitality panelists. All of them shared personal stories about why they love their jobs, why they want to live and work in PA, and why it is important for the Commonwealth of PA to support, and grow,  the film tax credit program. The legislators greatly appreciated the panelists’ real life stories about how each of them found their place in the film industry, how they want to grow their businesses and support others entering the film and TV workforce, and the immense proud they all share in having one of the over 30,000 full time jobs generated or impacted by the film industry.

    While the film industry has generated over $5.2 billion in total economic activity since 2007, the impact of the industry is so much greater than what can be captured in an economic impact study. Our sincere thanks go out to those that participated in the hearing – Gregory Edwards (Executive Committee Member, IASTE Local 489 and Dolly Grip), Lela Checco (Crafty Craft Services, LLC), Keith Frank (Vice President, Teamsters Local 249), Brick Brickman (Set Painter), Trey Matheu (Managing Director, Nemocolin Woodlands Resort), and Dawn Keezer (Director, Pittsburgh Film Office). The wonderful testimony presented yesterday ensured that the legislators recognized and truly saw the faces of all the men and women working in the film industry (and dare I say they saw the hearts of each of the workers as well).

    After such a successful hearing, we must ride the wave of enthusiasm and support for the film tax credit program. We are encouraging all of you to reach out to your state House and state Senate member and ask them to increase the film tax credit from $70 million to $125 million when they pass a budget in Harrisburg this June. You can find the name and contact information for your local legislators using the website found here.

    We are also in the process of finalizing a date (tentatively Monday, May 23) and time for a reception in Harrisburg where film and TV industry stakeholders, like yourself, can mingle in-person with legislators and share your personal stories as to why increasing the funding for the film tax credit program is so important. We will share details about this receptions as they become available.

    Lastly, we wanted to share the Post Gazette’s coverage of the hearing. We thought the article captured the essence of the hearing nicely. The text of the article can be found below or via the link here.

    Pittsburgh-area film workers praise Pa.’s film tax credit, ask for increase before state Senate panel


    APR 20, 2022


    Pittsburgh Post Gazette

    After ABC’s “The Bachelor” filmed at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington, the hotel saw an 18% increase in net revenue over its highest-ever earnings.

    While Tom Hanks filmed on a street in Bellevue for his upcoming movie “A Man Called Otto,” 20 nearby homes got repainted free of charge.

    As crews worked 12-hour days on movies like “The Pale Blue Eye” set to come out this year, staff spent $1.7 million on snacks and drinks locally to keep them going.

    These are all recent examples of the outward impact Pennsylvania’s film industry has on its broader economy, large and small, according to local film industry leaders who spoke before a panel of state senators on Wednesday.

    Several southwestern Pennsylvania lawmakers gathered in Pittsburgh with the film industry professionals to discuss the success of the state’s Film Tax Credit Program — and its unpredictability.

    Since its inception, the tax credit has brought more than $2 billion into the state, with 195 TV shows and movies filmed locally, according to the Pittsburgh Film Office.

    Pennsylvania is one of 42 states that offers some form of a film tax incentive to draw filmmakers to their regions. State Sen. Camera Bartolotta, R-Monongahela, introduced legislation to increase the tax credit from $70 million to $125 million, but it was cut out of budget negotiations last year. The bipartisan lawmakers from the Pittsburgh region said they hope they can negotiate an increase as part of this year’s budget.

    There is no lack of interest in filming in Western Pennsylvania, said Dawn Keezer, the Pittsburgh Film Office director. Instead, the tax credit gets used up so quickly that local film companies need to turn big-time films or TV series away.

    “We have half a billion dollars worth of work that want to be here,” Ms. Keezer told the Senate panel.

    Plus, Pennsylvania has two movie-making hubs with Philadelphia across the state, making it stand out among others — though that means the two regions need to share the tax credits, Ms. Keezer added.

    “It’s Atlanta in Georgia, and Chicago in Illinois,” Ms. Keezer said about other popular places to shoot films in the U.S. “In Pennsylvania, it’s Pittsburgh and Philly, so the credit is underfunded and oversubscribed.”

    Pittsburgh-area film crews have gotten “really good” at painting the city to look like New York, offering a smaller environment where crews can actually close down the streets, Ms. Keezer said. Its proximity to mountains and rural communities also offers filmmakers a desired location to shoot — though it can be hard for them to shoot movies based in beaches or deserts.

    Last year, crime-thriller TV series “Mayor of Kingstown” wanted to film in southwestern Pennsylvania, Ms. Keezer said. But they didn’t have enough tax credits left to get them to film there, so they chose to film in Canada instead.

    This year, “Mayor of Kingstown” will film in Pittsburgh for its second season.

    “We’re thrilled about that, but we have to turn away more work than we ever see,” Ms. Keezer added.

    Ms. Bartolotta said she hopes to increase the tax credit this year, and add some insurance that the tax credit will stay steady for the next three-plus years.

    “You’re not going to build studios.. All of those people moving into Pennsylvania, that’s not going to happen if they think this is going to be a one-year experience,” Ms. Bartolotta added.

    Several panelists from local unions said the film jobs produce consistent, comfortable wages for their employees.

    Keith Frank, the vice president of Teamsters Local 249, tried to dispel the myth that these jobs are not sustainable. Most of his union members will work seven to nine months out of the year, but will work 3,000 hours during that time — much more than the 2,080 traditional 9-5 jobs offer, Mr. Frank said.

    It’s when this tax credit isn’t made available — like in 2017 — that its workers lose jobs, he added.

    Gillian McGoldrick; 

    First Published April 20, 2022, 4:04pm

  • Thursday, November 04, 2021 9:52 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    October Monthly Recap

    Both the PA House and Senate had two weeks of legislative session this month. While the 2021 legislative session is winding down, the politics heading into next year’s elections are starting to heat up. On October 13, PA Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced his long-expected candidacy for PA governor. In contrast to the crowded open US Senate seat race that will be on next year’s ballot, Shapiro does not expect another prominent Democrat to enter the gubernatorial race. On the Republican side, rumors that PA Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman will announce his candidacy for governor continue to grow with many expecting his announcement to come sometime in November. The Republicans already have a crowded field for the gubernatorial primary and Corman joining that race could certain thin the field.

    Some of the bigger policy discussions this month include:

    Wolf Administration Announces Vaccination Rates by Legislative District - The PA Department of Health released data showing vaccination rates by legislative district. According to the Wolf Administration, the overwhelming majority of the COVID-19 related cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in Pennsylvania occurred in people who were not vaccinated. The state’s data doesn’t include Philadelphia. You can view the map here.

    - RACP Deadline Extended - The Wolf Administration will extend a window to accept new Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) applications. The window opened on Monday, October 18, 2021 and will close on Monday, November 1, 2021.

    -  Lobbyist Reform Measures Advance – The PA House State Government Committee favorably reported out several pieces of legislation that would make various changes to the 2006 lobbyist disclosure law including, require lobbyists to register any clients seeking state financial assistance or grants and file quarterly reports disclosing if they hold any equity in an entity they are lobbying for; prohibit a state agency or entity from hiring an outside lobbyist or political consultant to lobby any branch of government; prevent lobbyists from also being registered as political consultants; and require all lobbyists to complete mandatory ethics training developed by the state department.

    -  Criminal Justice Reform Measures Move in Senate - The PA Senate Judiciary Committee approved changes to the state’s probation system as part of a broader package of bills aimed at reforming the criminal justice system. SB 913, sponsored by Senator Lisa Baker (R), streamlines the probation review process and sets realistic guidelines for when a significant parole violation would lead to a return prison stay. The bill will ensure that minor violations don’t become a probation-to-prison revolving door. 

    Looking ahead, the PA Legislature is closing in on the end of the first year of a two-year legislative session. This means that all bills from 2021 will carry over “as-is” into 2022. But time is running out for movement to occur on the bill in 2021 as there are only 6 session days planned for the Senate and 9 session days planned for the House between now and the end of the calendar year.

    In film specific news, PAFIA President David Haddad will be coming to Harrisburg in on November 8th and 9th to meet with the four Film Caucus Chairs to discuss strategy for the remainder of 2021 and budget goals for 2022. We are looking forward to an engaging conversation with some of the Entertainment Production Tax Credit’s most ardent supporters. 

    On Monday, October 25, Philadelphia City Council’s Committee on Commerce and Economic Development held a public hearing about the economic benefits of the film industry in the City of Philadelphia. Held at the request of Councilperson Katherine Gilmore Richardson topics discussed included:

    • funding support from the City of Philadelphia for a dedicated film office.
    • the need for local film incentives and the enhancement of statewide film incentives.
    • the cultural and tourism benefits associated with filming in Philadelphia.
    • the importance of keeping the economic engine that is the Philadelphia film and production industry.

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A Message From Your Lobbyist

Budget Update

In June, the House and Senate passed a $32 billion spending plan. In late July the Senate passed a revenue bill to fund that spending plan. The new revenue package would generate $530 million from new taxes, including $200 million from expanded gaming, as well as natural gas severance tax. Additionally, the Senate approved $1.3 billion in borrowing against future tobacco settlement payments.

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August 29, 2017

Budget Update

At the end of June, there remained significant uncertainty as to the direction and timing of the state budget. Now, as July comes to an end, a different but similar form of uncertainty exists. While the $32 billion spending bill is now law, the mechanism necessary to generate the revenue remains unresolved.

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August 7, 2017

Budget Update

June 30th is upon us...and as the final day of the 2016-2017 Fiscal Year, I am pleased to report that the general appropriations bill (the budget bill) will be complete by the end of the day.

At this point, legislative leaders have coalesced around a spend number - roughly $31.996 billion – but decisions over exactly where new revenues will come from to close a $1.2 - $2 billion budget hole remain elusive. One potential new recurring source of money that’s sure to be talked about in the week ahead is gaming expansion. 

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June 30, 2017

Budget Update

Memorial Day has come and gone, propelling us into the next annual holiday (or so it seams)... the state budget.

As we all know, June is the busiest month of the year i Harrisburg - with feverish negotiations towards a balanced budget. And just like in years past, the state is stuck with difficult decisions to make:

How much needs to be cut? What gets cut? If we can't find enough savings in cuts, where do we get new revenue? Increase existing taxes? Establish new taxes?

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May 31, 2017

It's Budget Season

It's budget season again in Harrisburg. It's like Groundhog Day. Please, refrain from getting so excited.

Earlier this month the House has passed its version (HB218) of the 2017-2018 budget and sent it to the Senate. This year, the budget is approximately $32 billion, with the two major areas of PreK-12 education ($12 billion) and health and human services ($13 billion).

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April 27, 2017

PA Budget Update

On Tuesday, February 7, Governor Wolf gave his third budget address since being elected Governor. And the Governor held true to his word that he would not seek an increase in the tax rates for income or sales. 

Instead, the Governor proposed some consolidations (combining 4 departments - Health, Human Services, Aging and Drug & Alcohol - into one) and closings (closing a prison in western Pennsylvania) which would incur some savings. Additionally, the Governor proposed some new revenue options like internet gaming (approximately $150 million in estimated revenue) and also charging a $25 per resident fee if you live in a municipality which uses the state police for PRIMARY protection.

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Feb 24, 2017

Budget Update

The House and Senate started a new two-year session on Tuesday, January 3, swearing in all 203 House members and 25 Senators. The 2017/2018 session that lies ahead will have many hallenges, most notably the same one that has plagued this Commonwealth in recent memory - the budget.

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Jan 18, 2017

Pennsylvania Budget Update

First and foremost, Happy Holidays to everyone. Pour yourself a glass of holiday cheer and drink up before reading the following state budget update.

Good. Are you feeling warm and fuzzy? Things a little blurry? Well things are blurry in Harrisburg these days as well.

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Dec 21, 2016

2016 Election - Pennsylvania Results

Results of the 2016 election:


  • Donad Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by 64,000 votes (48.76% to 47.68%)

US Senate

  • US Senator Republican Pat Toomey defeated Katie McGinty by 96,000 votes (48.89% to 47.26%)

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Dec 5, 2016

Message from PaFIA Lobbyist

Pennsylvania’s primary election on April 26th has come and gone, with no incumbents being ousted as fallout from last year’s budget impasse. So now, as session continues into May and June, the attention turns again to the Budget. And while the state budget isn’t due for two months, neither side appears to have moved away from the hard-and-fast positions staked out during the historic impasse.

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May 10, 2016

Message from PaFIA Lobbyist

Budget Overview: Last month, Governor Wolf allowed the $6 billion GOP-crafted supplemental budget bill (HB 1801) to become law without his signature. At the time, Wolf insisted the spending plan remained out of balance and said he cannot put his name on a plan that spends more dollars than exist.

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Apr 18, 2016

PA Budget Update

The budget impasse is now beyond 100 days. Negotiations continue between the Governor and Leaders in the House and Senate.

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Oct 9, 2015

The PA Film Tax Credit

The Milken Report on Pittsburgh Film Incentives

The Milken Institute, the nonprofit think tank known for data driven studies offering solutions to policy initiatives, has turned it’s eyes on Pittsburgh’s film and media scene in the hopes of determining what makes Pittsburgh home to what is called “a thriving cluster of media related jobs.”

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Oct 7, 2015

Native Bucks County brothers making big waves in the film industry thanks to talent and PA film tax credits!

Ben and Oliver Samuels are producing brothers shooting in their native Bucks County. Ben attended Tufts University and made a microbudget horror film, entitled Watch Me, immediately after graduation. The film starred then unknown actor Nick Jandl, who is now breaking hearts as Dr. Caleb Ryan on Nashville.

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Jul 2, 2015

Film tax incentive program differences

Over the past weekend, the Wall Street Journal reported that the North Carolina legislature had voted to end the state’s film incentive program. Lawmakers were quoted expressing a desire to cut one of the oldest and most successful film programs in the country and instead provide incentives for other industries in North Carolina.

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Sep 10, 2013

Pennsylvania Film Industry Association (PAFIA)
461 Cochran Road, Box 246
Pittsburgh, PA 15228
(717) 833-4561

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