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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  • Friday, October 01, 2021 1:36 PM | Anonymous


    September 2021 Recap

    Summer is officially over as the PA House and Senate returned to Harrisburg for legislative session after the Labor Day holiday. The House was in session for 7 days while the Senate had 6 voting sessions.

    The month of September started on a positive note as the PA Department of Revenue released August 2021 collections announcing that revenues were ahead of estimates. Fiscal year to date General Fund collections total $5.3 billion, which is $132.4 million or 2.6 percent, above estimate. More on the department’s collection can be found here

    In COVID-19 related news, PA Auditor General Timothy DeFoor released a performance audit examining how the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) handled a process to grant waivers to businesses seeking to stay open during an emergency shutdown ordered by Gov. Tom Wolf at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in spring 2020. At that time, Gov. Wolf ordered businesses not categorized as “life-sustaining” to close their locations to help slow the spread of COVID-19 as part of an emergency declaration. The audit recommends additional consultation to determine the definition of “life-sustaining,” among other issues. The recommendations are based on findings that DCED posted five different versions of the waiver application and changed guidance on what is “life sustaining” nine times while a document with frequently asked questions was revised 14 times, according to DeFoor.

    More than 42,000 businesses sought a waiver from the governor’s closure order during spring 2020. DCED granted more than 7,000 waivers. A link to the audit can be found here.

    For industry specific news, we continue our advocacy in support of the film industry and increased funding for the entertainment production tax credit. We will be gathering the Film Caucus chairs together soon to discuss strategy for the remainder of the current fiscal year which ends June 30, 2022. We will also discuss strategy as we look ahead to the Governor’s FY 2022-23 budget proposal and the budget negotiations that follow.

    Philadelphia City Council’s Committee on Commerce & Economic Development had announced a public hearing on Wednesday, October 6 at 2pm. This hearing has since been postponed to a later date. The committee was to hear testimony on Councilmember Katherine Gilmore Richardson’s Resolution 210643. The resolution calls for hearings to discuss the economic impact of the film industry in Philadelphia. A link to the resolution can be found here. We will keep you posted when a new date for the hearing is announced.


  • Wednesday, September 01, 2021 1:36 PM | Anonymous


    PAFIA – August Report

    The Covid-19 health pandemic and inquiries into the November 2020 general election remain hot topics in Harrisburg, even while the PA Legislature is in summer recess. The PA House and Senate return to session in mid and late September and we will keep you posted on the policy priorities of all four caucuses. Please let us know if you need any assistance in outreach to your local House or Senate member. The best time to introduce yourself is when there is no session and members are home in their district offices.

    In non-Covid-19 or 2020 election news, Speaker of the House Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster) ordered a special election to coincide with Pennsylvania’s municipal general election on November 2, to fill the vacant seat in the 164th Legislative District in Delaware County. The seat was vacated when Margo Davidson (D-Delaware) resigned after charges of theft and election code violations were filed against her.

    Also, Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman (R-Bellefonte) announced an initiative to make all Senate expenses available to the public online beginning on September 1. This includes all office leases, per diems, reimbursements for meals and lodging, supplies, mileage, office maintenance and much more. The information will be available on a new webpage, which will be updated monthly by the Chief Clerk and will apply to all Senate offices — Republican, Democrat, Independent and institutional.

  • Tuesday, August 03, 2021 11:51 AM | Anonymous

    Since the PA Legislature and Governor finalized a Fiscal Year 2021-22 budget before the June 30th deadline, July was a relatively quiet month in Harrisburg. Even with the PA House and Senate being out of voting session until mid-September, there has been some high profile policy discussions playing out in the press. For instance, you have probably heard or read about the following issues: Pennsylvania joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, PA Senator Doug Mastriano’s (R-Franklin County) push for an audit of the 2020 General Election and the PA Transportation Revenue Options Commission’s proposal of additional fees and taxes to close an $8 billion funding gap to pay for infrastructure projects across the state. While unrelated to the Entertainment Production Tax Credit, the back and forth between elected officials is something to keep an eye on.

    During the summer months when the General Assembly is out of voting session, we continue to encourage PAFIA members to meet with their local legislators and drive home the importance of the Entertainment Production Tax Credit. We suggest highlighting the impact the film and television industries have on your business and employees. Hearing the voices of constituents is always an important factor when a legislator is making a critical decision in Harrisburg. Please let us know if PAFIA or Cozen teams can help with that local outreach.


  • Thursday, July 01, 2021 4:26 PM | Anonymous

    Late Friday, June 25, the Pennsylvania Legislature passed a $40.8 billion budget. Governor Wolf has stated that he will sign the budget bill, and accompanying budget code bills, before the end of the current fiscal year (which ends on June 30).

    Unfortunately, the budget did not provide for an increase to the $70 million Film Production Tax Credit program. Senator Camera Bartolotta publicly expressed her disappointment with the budget outcome in a Post-Gazette article found here.

    However, there was language added to the film tax credit program that gives special consideration to “multifilm” production, which is a series of separate and distinct films produced by the same taxpayer over a period of no less than one year and no more than four years from the time application. If an individual film include in a multifilm application is cancelled, the tax credit may be reissued to another applicant only after the Department of Community and Economic Development allows the taxpayer 90 days to apply for an alternative individual film. Senator Wayne Fontana said in a recent press release that the new changes are helpful, but a larger tax credit would mean more jobs and economic spin off.

    Some of you may be discouraged that the limit for the film tax credit program was not increased but please remember that there has been tremendous growth in support for the film tax credit within the legislature this year – even during a pandemic. Film caucus leaders advocated both publicly and privately in support of our cause and their efforts, along with yours, have not gone unnoticed. We encourage PAFIA members to continue to engage with legislators regarding the importance of increasing funding for the film tax credit. Whether is it meeting with legislators one on one in their district offices, inviting them onto sets, or posting on social media how the film industry is thriving in PA, please do not stop having conversations with elected officials. We can use this opportunity to grow our collective voices even more.

    With the passage of the state budget, the PA Legislature has started their summer recess. This is an opportunity for members to spend some time in their districts and to work on issues in preparation for returning to session in the fall. Unless sooner recalled by their respective chambers, the PA Senate will return to session on Monday, September 20 and the PA House will return to session on Monday, September 27. 

    More information on the budget

    Earlier this year, Pennsylvania was allocated $7 billion in funds from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) which had gone unspent until this budget. Of those dollars, $4 billion will go towards balancing this year’s budget and more than $2 billion has been set aside for the Commonwealth’s rainy day fund. All in, factoring in offline spending through federal CARES Act funds and American Rescue Plan funds, the FY 2021-22 budget grew just 2.6% over the current 2020-21 budget.

    Highlights of the General Fund Budget

    SB 255 – Appropriations Bill

    An additional $416 million in education funding - the largest single-year education funding increase in state history:

    • $200 million increase to the fair funding formula, for a total of nearly $900 million
    • $100 million for Level Up, a new initiative providing more equitable funding to the 100 most underfunded districts and the students they serve
    • $20 million for Ready to Learn
    • $50 million increase for special education
    • $30 million increase for early education, including $25 million to expand Pre-K Counts and $5 million to expand Head Start
    • $11 million for preschool Early Intervention
    • $40 million increase for the Education Improvement Tax Credit
    • Nearly $5 million for community colleges
    • Provides for the investment of ARP funding for a variety of Covid-19 relief assistance and recovery programs:
    • $350 million for schools to address learning loss and provide summer enrichment and after school programs to help students with academic, social, emotional and mental health needs
    • $50 million for the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) to support the redesign and growth of the system 
    • $450 million for rental assistance
    • $350 million for homeowner mortgage assistance
    • $36 million to help pay water bills
    • $282 million to help nursing homes and long-term care facilities to recover from the pandemic and improve patient safety
    The budget also provides for $30 million in new state dollars for violence intervention and prevention by local communities and local organizations. 
    • Passed the House on 6/25 by a vote of 140-61
    • Passed the Senate on 6/25 by a vote of 43-7
    • Link to fiscal note can be found here
    • Link to line item budget tracking can be found here

    Highlights from each code bill

    HB 1348 – Fiscal Code

    • Establishes the Angel Investment Venture Capital Program
    • Establishes a two-year pilot program for e-scooters in the City of Pittsburgh
    • Established the Opioid Settlement Fund for any monies received from litigation or settlements
    • Deposits 100% of any General Fund Surplus for FY 202/2021 into the Rainy Day Fund
    • Provides for Level Up in Basic Education
    • Provides payments for fairs that had to cancel in 202 0 due to COVID-19
    • Passed the Senate on 6/25 by a vote of 42-8
    • Passed the House on 6/25 by a vote of 168-33
    • Link to fiscal note can be found here

    HB 952 – Tax reform Code

    • Provides for a sales and use tax exemption for the sale at retail or use of computer data center equipment for installation in a computer data center. Eligible criteria was defined.
    • Specific change to the Bank Shares Tax relating to mergers, pertaining to apportionment of income from another state.
    • Increases the accountability of tax credit and tax benefit programs, including a tax credit broker registration requirement. These reforms are based on recommendations from a 2019 grand jury investigation.
    • A change to the definitions in the film tax credit; creating a new definition for “multifilm”.
    • Local Resource Manufacturing Tax Credit Change (Act 66); changes the law from four taxpayers to two and eliminating the per project cap of $6.25 million per taxpayer.
    • Passed the Senate on 6/25 by a vote of 46-4
    • Passed the House on 6/25 by a vote of 170-31
    • Link to fiscal note can be found here.

    HB 336 – Administrative Code

    • Establishes an audit of the judicial computer system with a report due to the General Assembly by January 31, 2022
    • Establishes a process for constitutional amendment questions to be circulated 14 days prior to publication
    • Requires registered lobbyists to report any equity holding in an entity in which they are lobbying on behalf of beginning July 30, 2022
    • Requires the Attorney General to defend certain claims against the Commonwealth
    • Creates a new Department of Environmental Protection permit for the temporary storage and transfer of beneficial reuse of oil and gas waster (water recycling)
    • Permits the Auditor General to audit a municipal authority and to make recommendations for improvement
    • Repeals the Department of Labor and Industry’s overtime regulation
    • Passed the Senate on 6/25 by a vote of 28-22
    • Passed the House on 6/25 by a vote of 112-89
    • Link to fiscal note can be found here

    SB 381 – School Code

    • Passed the House on 6/25 by a vote of 154-47
    • Passed the Senate on 6/25 by a vote of 40-10
    •  Link to fiscal note can be found here


  • Tuesday, June 01, 2021 1:23 PM | Anonymous


    Written By: Beth Brennan & Jim Davis, Lobbyists, Cozen O'Connor

    In May, Governor Tom Wolf continued to ease Covid-19 related restrictions. Event and gathering maximum capacity limits increased on Monday, May 17 and were eliminated entirely on Monday, May 31. Masking requirements remain, however, when 70% of the Commonwealth’s adult population is fully vaccinated the mask order will be lifted. PA Department of Health Acting Secretary Alison Beam announced that the mask order will be lifted by June 28, 2021 at the latest.

    Tuesday, May 18 was primary election day in the Commonwealth.
    Pennsylvania voters approved two ballot questions that place restrictions upon the emergency powers of the Governor. Pennsylvania is the first state in the nation to pass such measures. The constitutional amendments end a governor’s emergency disaster declaration after 21 days and give lawmakers the sole authority to extend it or end it at any time with a simple majority vote. Currently, the state constitution requires a two-thirds majority vote by lawmakers to end a governor’s disaster declaration. Under the law, a governor can issue an emergency declaration for up to 90 days and extend it without limit.

    There were also four special election to fill legislative vacancies.

    • In Lebanon County’s 48th Senate District, Republican Chris Gebhard won the seat formerly held by the late Sen. Dave Arnold, R-Lebanon, who died in January of a brain aneurysm.
    • Democratic state Rep. Marty Flynn, D-Lackawanna, won the special election for northeastern Pennsylvania’s 22nd Senate District which was formerly held by Senator John Blake who resigned to take a top congressional staff position.
    • In Somerset County’s 59th Legislative District, Republican Leslie Baum Rossi won a special election defeating Democrat Mariah Fisher. They were running in a special election to fill the seat left vacant by the death of Rep. Mike Reese, a Republican, earlier this year.
    • In Armstrong County, Republican Abby Major won a special election in state House District 60 replacing state Rep. Jeff Pyle who retired due to health issues.

    In film industry news, Reps Joe Ciresi (D-Montgomery) and K.C. Tomlinson (R-Bucks) introduced HB 1432. This legislation is identical to SB 321 which was introduced in March by Senator Camera Bartolotta. Both bills rename the film production tax credit program as the “Film Industry Incentive” and increase the level of state assistance for the program from its current $70 million amount to $125 million.

    On May 25, PAFIA hosted a legislative reception in Harrisburg to educate elected officials about the wide reaching economic benefits of film production. Co-hosted by the four film caucus chairs Senator Camera Bartolotta, Senator Jay Costa, Representative Joe Ciresi, and Representative Kathleen "KC" Tomlinson, there were over 65 legislators and legislative staff in attendance. Our thanks to PAFIA board members David Haddad, Ken Myers, Amy Sotereanos, Max Zug, and PAFIA Members Mike McCann and Angelo Sotereanos, who made the trip to Harrisburg to meet with legislators. Your advocacy and dedication have helped to ensure that the film industry incentive is included in budget negotiations. As June 30th draws near, the budget negotiations will only intensify as the Governor and General Assembly finalize a budget for next fiscal year. 
  • Thursday, May 06, 2021 1:22 PM | Anonymous


    Written By: Beth Brennan & Jim Davis, Lobbyists, Cozen O'Connor

    Pennsylvania’s Covid-19 vaccine rollout moved full steam ahead this month as Governor Tom Wolf made several announcements in which he increased or expanded vaccine eligibility. All Pennsylvanians age 16 and older are now eligible to schedule a Covid-19 vaccine. As the month of April comes to a close, over 8 million vaccines have been given in PA with 47.3% of all Pennsylvania having received a first dose. The Commonwealth of PA ranks 10th among all 50 states for first does administered by percentage of population.

    The House and Senate tackled several Covid-19 related items this month. The Senate extended the chamber’s temporary rules to allow for remote participation in session and the House passed legislation provide temporary relief Covid-19 related liability claims. Similar legislation was vetoed by Governor Wolf in 2020.

    Pennsylvania House Republicans released a report that includes answers and policy suggestions in response to a survey sent to Pennsylvania employers in February. 921 business responded to the survey. The report noted that the hospitality and tourism industry has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Some of the key findings of the report: 31 percent of respondents said the biggest challenge facing their business has been state virus mitigation orders; 21 percent said financial issues and hardships are their greatest challenges; 28 percent said tax reductions would have the greatest impact on their future success, while another 22 percent said their future success depends upon the Commonwealth removing restrictions and allowing them to fully open for business.

    Pennsylvania Democrats put forward a Pennsylvania Rescue Plan to help employers in all sectors including the hospitality industry. The House Democratic Caucus began developing its “Pennsylvania Rescue Plan” early in the year. The plan would provide funding for businesses unable to stay open or work remotely, job creation, child care, high-speed internet, telehealth, and resources for community college students, among other items.

    PAFIA worked with the House Film Caucus Chairs to help host a tour of Sun Center Film Studios followed by a small informal gathering in Philadelphia. A group of 7 bi-partisan Representatives participated in the tour which included a mix of both newly elected and more senior tenured legislators.

    Discussions continue with legislators regarding the requested increase to the entertainment production (film) tax credit program. Budget negotiations among the four caucuses and Governor have not yet officially begun, but our advocacy remains focused on educating members on the economic development benefit of the film and television industry. With an enhanced film tax credit, the industry can play a significant role in the Commonwealth’s Covid-19 financial recovery.

  • Friday, April 09, 2021 4:30 PM | Anonymous

    Written By: Beth Brennan, Lobbyist, Cozen O'Connor

    Happy Spring to our friends in film. Better weather is on the horizon, great for shooting outdoor scenes.

    Also, additional Covid-relief efforts are underway in Harrisburg. Twice this month, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced the loosening of various pandemic related restrictions. On March 15, the Governor announced the easing of some of his COVID-19 mitigation policies on businesses, effective April 4. For restaurants, the indoor dining capacity will be raised to 75 percent. Capacity for other businesses, including gyms and entertainment facilities, such as theaters and casinos, will be increased to 75 percent occupancy. Back on March 1, the Governor and the state Health Department rescinded a November order that required anyone over the age of 11 who visits from another state to provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test or place themselves in a travel quarantine for 14 days upon entering Pennsylvania.

    The state Senate Appropriations Committee began its hearings for the 2021-22 budget, meanwhile, the House concluded their hearings in mid-March. Republican House and Senate members continued to express concern about the Governor’s proposals to raise the personal income tax, increase the minimum wage, and impose a severance tax on natural gas, among other contentious issues.

    With the announcement of two additional legislative vacancies this month, May 18th – PA’s primary election day – will now be the date of four state legislative special elections. One March 5th, state Sen. John Blake, D-Lackawanna, resigned from his 22nd Senatorial District seat to accept a new job with Pennsylvania Democratic U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright. On March 16th, state Rep. Jeff Pyle R-Armstrong, resigned immediately due to health issues. Special elections already set for May 18th were the 48th Senatorial District seat which was vacant due to the January death of Sen. Dave Arnold, R-Lebanon and the 59th House District which was vacant due to the January death of Rep. Mike Reese, R-Westmoreland.

    On March 10, Senator Camera Bartolotta, R-Greene, introduced SB 321. Co-sponsored by Senators Collett, Scavello, Robinson, Costa, Yudichak and Stefano, the bill increases the film tax credit limit from $70 million to $125 million. It also renames the Film Production Tax Credit as the Film Industry Incentive. The bill was referred to the Senate Finance Committee.

    On March 12, Representatives Kathleen Tomlinson, R-Bucks, and Joe Ceresi, D-Montgomery, circulated a co-sponsorship memo announcing their intent to introduce that would re-brand the Film Production Tax Credit as the Film Industry Incentive and increase funding for the program from its current level of $70 million to $125 million. We anticipate their bill language to be identical to Senator Bartolotta’s SB 321 referenced above.

    As we move closer to the June 30th budget deadline, we expect busier days ahead in Harrisburg. PAFIA will be watching and advocating for the industry. Now get outside and enjoy the sun and warmer weather.

    And quiet on the set……….Action!


  • Wednesday, March 03, 2021 10:56 AM | Anonymous

    PAFIA Lobbyist Update for March 2021

    On February 3, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf delivered his 2021-2022 state budget address virtually. The $37.8 billion proposal contains a sizeable increase in the state’s personal income tax (PIT) and a substantial increase in education spending. This year’s general fund budget is $33.1 billion. The Governor’s proposal is an increase of $3.78 billion, or 11.1% over the prior year. The Governor is proposing to raise the PIT from 3.07% to 4.49% starting July 1, the first increase since 2003. The increase would raise more than $3 billion annually, a 20 percent increase when compared to 2019 tax data. $1.3 billion raised from a higher income tax would go to basic education funding, boosting that total to about $8.1 billion. Special education would be increased by $200 million to a total of $1.4 billion. The new revenue will also be used to address the multi-billion dollar deficit in the state budget. The Governor’s proposal would result in a tax hike for 60 percent of Pennsylvania taxpayers. Residents with incomes at or below $15,000 for single filers; $30,000 for married filers; and $10,000 allowance for each dependent – will receive total 100% personal income tax forgiveness.

    In addition, the Governor is proposing to reduce the 9.99% corporate net income tax to 9.49 percent on January 1, 2022, then continue to reduce the tax incrementally to 6.49 percent by 2026. The governor is also proposing to shift to combined reporting to tax corporations as a single entity. Like several previous budgets, the governor is again calling for a severance tax on natural gas drillers. Currently, Pennsylvania imposes an impact fee that is assessed on each drill site. According to the state’s Independent Fiscal Office, the 2020 impact fees equaled an effective tax rate of 3.3%.

    The Commonwealth continues to deal with the COVID-19 challenges with vaccine rollout and case count statewide holding steady. On February 9th, Governor Wolf announced the creation of a joint task force aimed at improving the state’s vaccine rollout, including Republican and Democratic members of the General Assembly. Senators Ryan Aument (R-Lancaster) and Art Haywood (D-Philadelphia) and Representatives Tim O’Neal (R-Washington) and Bridget Kosierowski (D-Lackawanna). The task force will share vaccine information and communicate solutions on behalf of and to the broader General Assembly. Pennsylvania’s vaccine rollout has been the focus of multiple hearings last week in the state legislature. Through February 22, vaccine providers have administered 2,034,123 doses of vaccine. 1,474,479 million Pennsylvians have received their first does and 559,644 people have received both doses and are now fully vaccinated.

    Budget hearings in Harrisburg have started. The state House Appropriations Committee held the first of several hearings to discuss Governor Tom Wolf’s budget proposal. Of note: (1) The Department of Revenue was questioned about the Governor’s proposal to increase the state personal income tax. (2) The Department of Environmental Protection was questioned about the Governor’s proposal to join the multi-state Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. (3) The Department of Community and Economic Development answered questions regarding the business shuts downs last year due to the Covid pandemic and the mitigation measures still in place today. The full schedule of House hearings can be found here. The state Senate Appropriations Committee will begin its budget hearings on Monday, March 8th. The full schedule of Senate hearings can be found here.

    Film Caucus Update

    There are currently 24 members of the Film Caucus.  Additional outreach to encourage more members of the House and Senate to sign up is currently taking place. Senators Camera Bartolotta and Jay Costa and Representatives Kathleen Tomlinson and Joe Ceresi are leading the caucus this session.

    A listing of the current membership is below:

    Representatives: Daley, Tina Davis, Howard, Longietti, Malagari, Matzie, Merski, Mizgorski, Mullins, Pisciottano, Sanchez, Silvis, Sturla and Webster.

    Senators: Collett, Fontana, Kane, Santarsiero, Stefano, and Lindsey Williams.


  • Monday, February 01, 2021 10:34 AM | Anonymous

    The 2021-22 legislative session is officially underway in Harrisburg. Legislative committees have been assigned, bills are being introduced, and floor votes are being taken.

    Legislative Update

    The state Senate voted on COVID-relief legislation (SB 109) to provide $912 million in housing, rental, education and business assistance to Pennsylvanians impacted by COVID-19 pandemic. The majority of the federal funding – $570 million will go to rental and utility assistance. Money will be allocated proportionally to all 67 counties. In addition, some $200 million will go toward education, with $150.023 million in funding for non-public schools and $47.075 million for Pennsylvania’s discretionary allocation which includes $17.5 million for career and technical centers and $17.5 million dedicated to intermediate units. The measure also creates a Hospitality Industry Recovery Program for grants to hotels, restaurants, and bars. Certified local economic development agencies will be responsible for administering the program.

    The state Senate also passed a constitutional amendment to limit gubernatorial disaster emergency powersSenate Bill 2 states that emergency disaster declarations by the governor would last no more than 21 days. In addition, the declaration can be extended by the governor for additional 21-day periods, but only with the approval by the General Assembly of a concurrent resolution to do so.

    If approved by the House, the proposal would go to Pennsylvania voters in the form of a ballot referendum question during the state’s May primary.

    Legislation (HB 38) that would establish appellate court voting districts within the Pennsylvania Constitution, may be considered by the state House in early February. The measure would divide the state into nine Commonwealth Court districts, fifteen Superior Court districts, and seven Supreme Court districts, with candidates for those judgeships required to reside in the district they seek to represent on the court. Districts would be drawn with compact and contiguous geographic boundaries, and comporting with the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965. The same language was already approved by the General Assembly last session. A constitutional amendment must be approved by lawmakers during two consecutive two-year legislative sessions before it can be put to the voters as a ballot question.

    Budget Update

    In anticipation of his February 2nd budget address to the Legislature, Governor Wolf outlined his legislative priorities for the session. While highlighting past bipartisan successes on criminal justice reform, medical marijuana, and mail-in ballots, Wolf said he wanted to begin negotiating anew with the Republican-controlled General Assembly to lower barriers for Pennsylvanians in need of assistance amid the COVID-19 pandemic. He expressed his desire to increase the state’s minimum wage, pass a severance tax, and the authorize adult-use recreational marijuana. In response to the Governor’s press conference, House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff and Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward released statements expressing frustration that the Governor was not focusing getting Pennsylvanians vaccinated.

    State Senator Appropriations Committee Chair Pat Browne (R-Lehigh) has delayed budget hearings this winter. The Senate is now scheduled to be in session Feb. 22, 23 and 24, dates that in previous years were used for budget hearings. A revised budget hearing scheduled will be released within the next two weeks.

    House Appropriations Committee Majority Chairman Stan Saylor (R-York) said he will conduct hearings as originally planned the weeks of Feb. 16th, 22nd, and March 1st. A detailed schedule will be released shortly.

    Film Update

    On January 21, the four chairs of the film caucus circulated a memo inviting members of the 2021-22 legislative session to join. Senators Camera Bartolotta and Jay Costa and Representatives Kathleen Tomlinson and Joe Ciresi will lead the caucus this session.

    The intent of the Legislative Film Caucus is to:

    • Support research and analysis of the role that Pennsylvania’s film industry plays in economic development, job creation and revenue enhancement.
    • Promote avenues of growth for this industry in Pennsylvania, ultimately leading to better economic outcomes for the state, local governments and the industry as a whole.
    • Seek to optimize Pennsylvania’s incentive structure to promote growth in production, wages and downstream activity.

    We will share the names of the caucus members in a later legislative update once members have more time to join the caucus.

    On January 27, Senator Wayne Fontana (D-Allegheny) introduced SB 133. The bill uncaps the film tax credit to further incentivize the TV and film industry to relocate in Pennsylvania. The bill was referred to the Senate Finance Committee. Co-sponsors of SB 133 include Senators Sharif Street, Maria Collett, Vincent Hughes, Steve Santersiero, Mario Scavello, Camera Bartolotta, Tim Kearney, Amanda Cappelletti and Jay Costa.

  • Thursday, September 10, 2020 4:56 PM | Anonymous

    Happy September,  I hope that this update finds you with memories of a healthy and enjoyable summer. A summer that was certainly unlike no other, attempting to make lemonade from the daily bag of lemons that COVID was delivering to us all. As of the beginning of September, more than 133,000 Pennsylvanians have been infected with COVID-19, with unfortunately more than 7,000 passing away. Businesses, school districts, state & local governments, and everyone in between are trying to deal with this new reality, along with anticipating what might come when flu season arrives in November and December. The country has people that have directly experienced COVID and are petrified of getting sick, and others feel this is just another illness that mostly affects those who are in poor health.

    On August 31, Governor Tom Wolf renewed the state’s disaster declaration for the Covid-19 pandemic for another 90 days on Monday. “As we approach the six-month mark of this crisis, I continue to be amazed at the resiliency and strength shown by Pennsylvanians during this pandemic,” Wolf said in a statement. “We are going to continue to combat the health and economic effects of COVID-19, and the renewal of my disaster declaration will provide us with resources and support needed for this effort.” The declaration also comes at a time when the Pennsylvania House returns to voting session with a renewed effort to try to stop the Governor’s emergency powers by overriding Wolf’s veto of a previous bill that would allow the Legislature to force the governor end the disaster declaration. PennLive has more.

    In a press release recently issued by Revenue Secretary Dan Hassell, Pennsylvania collected $2.5 billion in General Fund revenue in August, which was 8.9% more than expected. The Department of Revenue estimated the majority of revenue collected in August can be attributed to extending the due date to August 14 for corporations that had annual corporate net income tax payments due in April, May, June or July. Penn Live has more.

    Expectations are the state budget deficit will be approximately $5 billion and many state lawmakers are hoping that federal funds will be made available to plug some or all of that gap. Depending on what financial relief comes from Washington,  that will determine how much in additional revenue will need to be generated or identified. Some options for new revenue being proposed includes adult use marijuana, and the Governor has recently called on legislators to legalize as a way to boost the economic recovery.

    In other news, and in response to Covid-19, PennDOT is extending expiration dates for certain products including commercial driver licenses, learner’s permits and Hazardous Materials Endorsements. The extension for non-commercial driver licenses, photo identification cards, and camera cards ended Monday. Triblive.com has more. Governor Wolf today also recently announced his support for mandating a paid sick leave program for all PA workers, saying it can help workers avoid coming in sick and spreading diseases as well as reduce costs associated with employee turnover and absence. Democratic lawmakers acknowledged the difficulty they will face passing the legislation in the Republican-majority legislature. For more please see the Governor’s press release.


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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.

Read More
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.

Read More
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:

President

  • 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  info@pafia.org

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