Increase the revenue stream. Create local jobs. Support the Film Tax Credit in Pennsylvania.

What incentives does the PA Film Tax Credit 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

  • Wednesday, November 21, 2018 1:25 PM | Jessica Sikes (Administrator)

     The Fall legislative session was very quiet with only 10 session days, as legislators returned to their districts to campaign.

    On Tuesday, November 6, Governor Wolf easily won re-election, garnering almost 58% of the vote and defeating former Senator, Scott Wagner. The Governor's running mate, Braddock Mayor, John Fetterman, will be the Lieutenant Governor after defeating incumbent Lt. Governor, Mike Stack, in the primary.

    Here is some information about the numbers:

    • Leading up to the election, 31 Senators and Representatives announced they would not be seeking re-election.
    • In the primary, 4 incumbents lost - 1 Republican Senator from Allegheny County and 3 Democrat Representatives.
    • In the general election on November 6, 10 incumbents lost, including 2 Republican Senators and 8 Representatives (7 Rs and 1D).
    • Democrats in the Senate have gained 5 seats, bringing the makeup of the Senate to 29R - 21D
    • Democrats in the House have gained 11 seats, bringing the makeup of the House to 108R - 95D
    • Democrats won 13 seats previously held by Republicans, and Republicans won 2 seats previously held by Democrats (net 11 seat gain)

    Finally, the makeup of Pennsylvania Representatives in Congress changed as well and now reflects an even split of 9Rs and 9Ds.

    Click here for the write-up for further information on the election.

  • Monday, November 12, 2018 1:28 PM | Jessica Sikes (Administrator)

    Pennsylvania
    2018 General Election Results

    Governor

    Democratic Governor Tom Wolf easily won re-election to a second a term in office by defeating Republican challenger Scott Wagner by a 58-41 margin. Pennsylvania will have a new lieutenant governor, the current Mayor of Braddock, John Fetterman.

    United States Senate

    Incumbent Democratic Senator Bob Casey won a third term in the United States Senate by beating Republican Congressman Lou Barletta by a 56-43 margin.

    United States Congress

    Democrats took control of the U.S. House of Representatives. In Pennsylvania, five Congressional seats flipped party control from Republican to Democrat. Below is a breakdown of the Commonwealth’s 18 Congressional races:

    • 1st Congressional District: Incumbent Republican Brian Fitzpatrick edged out Democrat challenger Scott Wallace by just over 2 points.
    • 2nd Congressional District: Incumbent Democrat Brendan Boyle won handily over Republican challenger David Torres 79-21.
    • 3rd Congressional District: Incumbent Democrat Dwight Evans easily defeated Republican challenger Bryan Leib by a 93-7 margin.
    • 4th Congressional District: In an open seat, Democrat Madeleine Dean won convincingly against Republican candidate Daniel David a 63-37.
    • 5th Congressional District: This was an open seat. Democrat Mary Gay Scanlon beat out Republican Pearl Kim.
    • 6th Congressional District: Democrat Chrissy Houlahan beat Republican Greg McCauley in this open seat formerly held by Republican Ryan Costello.
    • 7th Congressional District: Democrat Susan Ellis Wild defeated against Republican Marty Nothstei by double digits to take this open seat formerly held by Republican Pat Meehan who retired.
    • 8th Congressional District: Incumbent Democrat Representative Matt Cartwright held off a challenge from Republican John Chrin 55-45.
    • 9th Congressional District: This was an open seat formerly held by Republican Lou Barletta who ran for the United States Senate. Republican Dan Meuser (former Pennsylvania Secretary of Revenue) defeated Democratic challenger Dennis Wolff by nearly 20 points.
    • 10th Congressional District: Incumbent Republican Scott Perry held off Democratic challenger George Scott to win by 2 points.
    • 11th Congressional District: Incumbent Republican Lloyd Smucker handily defeated Democratic challenger Jess King by a nearly 60-40 margin.
    • 12th Congressional District: Incumbent Republican Tom Marino garnered over 66% of the vote in beating Democrat Mark Friedenberg.
    • 13th Congressional District: In this open seat, Republican candidate John Joyce beat out Democratic candidate Brent Ottaway by a 70-30 margin.
    • 14th Congressional District: In another open seat, Republican and State Senator Guy Reschenthaler defeated Democratic Bibiana Boerio by 16 points.
    • 15th Congressional District: Incumbent Republican Glenn Thompson cruised to victory against Democratic challenger Susan Boser, 68-32.
    • 16th Congressional District: Incumbent Mike Kelly narrowly outpaced Democratic challenger Ronald Dinicola by five points.
    • 17th Congressional District: This race was between two incumbents as a result of redistricting. Democrat Connor Lamb defeated Republican Cong. Keith Rothfus by a 56-44 margin.
    • 18th Congressional District: Democratic candidate Michael Doyle ran unopposed.

    Pennsylvania Senate

    Republicans will retain control of the Pennsylvania Senate, but Democrats gained 5 seats, mostly in southeastern Pennsylvania. The Senate majority now stands at

    • 10th Senatorial District: In an open seat currently held by retiring Republican Chuck McIlhinney, Democrat Steven Santarsiero defeated State Representative Margarite Quinn by a 53-48 margin.
    • 12th Senatorial District: Republican candidate Stewart Greenleaf, Jr lost his bid to replace his father in this open seat, getting defeated by Democratic candidate Maria Collett.
    • 26th Senatorial District: Democrat Tim Kearney won in an upset over incumbent Republican Tom McGarrigle 8 points.
    • 38th Senatorial District: Democratic candidate Lindsey Williams outpaced Republican Jeremy Shaffer by less than 1 percentage point in this Allegheny County seat. This was the seat formerly held by Republican Randy Vulakovich, who was defeated by Shaffer in the May primary election.
    • 44th Senatorial District: In a surprise victory, Incumbent Republican John Rafferty lost to Democratic challenger Katie Muth by a margin of 52-48.

    Pennsylvania House of Representatives

    Democrats picked up thirteen seats in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, closing the Republican majority to a 108-95 margin. Notably, ten Republican incumbents were defeated by Democrat challengers.

    • 53rd House District: In a race to replace retiring Republican Bob Godshall in Montgomery County, Democratic Steve Malagari upended Republican George Szekely.
    • 61st House District: Republican Kate Harper, an eight-term incumbent, lost to Democratic challenger Laura Hanbidge by 8 points.
    • 71st House District: Incumbent Democrat Bryan Barbin was defeated by Republican challenger James Rigby 52-48.
    • 74th House District: In an open seat vacated by retiring Republican Harry Lewis, Democratic candidate Dan Williams handily defeated Republican Amber Little-Turner by a 62-38 margin.
    • 76th House District: Democratic candidate Mike Hanna Jr., who was trying to win the seat left open by his father’s retirement, lost to Republican candidate Stephanie Borowicz 54-46.
    • 146th House District: Incumbent Republican Tom Quigley lost to Democratic challenger Joseph Ciresi 56-45.
    • 150th House District: Democrat Joe Webster defeated Republican Nick Fountain by a 56-44 margin in this open seat previously held by Republican Mike Corr.
    • 155th House District: Democratic challenger Danielle Otten handily defeated Republican incumbent Becky Corbin by a 55-45 margin.
    • 157th House District: Incumbent Republican Warren Kampf has always faced strong challenges in this seat. He lost to Democratic challenger Melissa Shusterman by a margin of 54-47.
    • 158th House District: Freshman incumbent Republican Eric Roe was defeated by Democratic challenger Christina Sappey 53-47.
    • 163rd House District: Two-term incumbent Republican Jamie Santora lost to Democratic challenger Michael Zabel 53-47. This is the first time in 40 years this seat will be held by a Democrat.
    • 165th House District: Incumbent Republican Alex Charlton was narrowly defeated by Democratic challenger Jennifer O’Mara 52-48.
    • 167th House District: Incumbent Republican Duane Milne lost to Democratic challenger Kristine Howard.
    • 178th House District: Incumbent Democrat Helen Tai lost to Republican challenger Wendi Thomas. Tai previously defeated Thomas in a May special election.
  • Friday, June 29, 2018 1:15 PM | Jessica Sikes (Administrator)

    For the first time in a long time, Pennsylvania has an on-time budget. Well in advance of the June 30 deadline, lawmakers and the Wolf administration announced that they had reached agreement on a $32.7 billion budget for the 2018-2019 fiscal year, which is $560 million more than the current year's spend total (a 2% increase).

    The General Appropriations Bill, House Bill 2121, passed the House in a 188-10 vote last Wednesday and the Senate in a 47-2 vote on Friday. Late Friday evening the bill was signed by the Governor and reflects an increased amount of education funding; providing an additional $100 million for basic education, $20 million more for pre-K counts, $5 million more for Head Start, $15 million more for special education, $25 million more for the Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program, and a $30 million increase for the career and technical education appropriation in the Department of Education. The budget will also increase funding to the State System of Higher Education and state related universities by 3%. Another $70 million is dedicated toward school safety ($10 million of which will be allocated to an existing safe schools initiative), which became a priority for lawmakers this year following the mass school shootings in Florida and Texas. There is also more funding to help people with intellectual disabilities receive services and funding to help combat the state's opioid crisis by granting 800 more families access to evidence-based home visit services.

    The film tax credit remained funded at $65 million. The good news is that an on-time budget means film tax credit applications for projects won't be delayed in being reviewed/approved due to budget delay.

    The House and Senate are now adjourned for the summer, returning in September. Looking forward to next summer (2019), expectations are already being set for a late budget - well past June 30.

  • Thursday, May 31, 2018 1:17 PM | Jessica Sikes (Administrator)

    May 31 is here. June starts tomorrow. Place your annual state budget bets now: on time or late? Changes to the program or not? Your 30-day clock starts tomorrow. Good luck!

    With the annual pilgrimage to state budget bliss begins, please pray for state revenues to exceed expectations resulting in a surplus. Notwithstanding that scenario, expect state budget spending to be slightly above the current year's $32 billion budget. As previously reported, the Governor proposed increasing the annual allocation to $32.9 billion, representing an increase of nearly $1 billion. During the days and weeks leading up to June 30th, PAFIA will be actively advocating for an increase in the annual film tax credit allocation. This continued outreach to various members of the General Assembly (House & Senate, Republican & Democrat) has been an integral part of PAFIA's government relations strategy and advocacy. It allows for PAFIA leadership to routinely be introduced to new members of the legislature, as well as outreach to elected officials who have been in office for years. PAFIA will be coordinating with many stakeholders, including the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh Film Offices, to increase to the $65 million film tax credit allocation.

    PAFIA is very appreciative for the support that legislators and the Governor have for the program, but feel it is a very good time to invest further in the industry - bringing more films and shows to the Commonwealth and creating additional jobs throughout the state. Growth in the industry means more economic activity and investments in the communities where the shoots are taking place.

    A brief May 15 primary election update: Four incumbents lost, with the most significant being the Democratic nomination for Lieutenant Governor. Mayor John Fetterman from Braddock beat current LG Mike Stack, who finished 4th in that race. Three incumbents from Western PA lost: Republican Senator Randy Vulakovich and House of Representative Democrats Paul Costa and Dom Costa. Three special elections were held for vacant House seats: a seat in Washington County (formerly held by Brandon Neuman) changed from Democrat to Republican, a seat in Bucks County (formerly held by Scott Petri) changed from Republican to Democrat, and a seat in Tioga County (formerly held by Matt Baker) stayed Republican.

  • Monday, April 30, 2018 1:19 PM | Jessica Sikes (Administrator)

    May 31 is here. June starts tomorrow. Place your annual state budget bets now: on time or late? Changes to the program or not? Your 30-day clock starts tomorrow. Good luck!

    With the annual pilgrimage to state budget bliss begins, please pray for state revenues to exceed expectations resulting in a surplus. Notwithstanding that scenario, expect state budget spending to be slightly above the current year's $32 billion budget. As previously reported, the Governor proposed increasing the annual allocation to $32.9 billion, representing an increase of nearly $1 billion. During the days and weeks leading up to June 30th, PAFIA will be actively advocating for an increase in the annual film tax credit allocation. This continued outreach to various members of the General Assembly (House & Senate, Republican & Democrat) has been an integral part of PAFIA's government relations strategy and advocacy. It allows for PAFIA leadership to routinely be introduced to new members of the legislature, as well as outreach to elected officials who have been in office for years. PAFIA will be coordinating with many stakeholders, including the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh Film Offices, to increase to the $65 million film tax credit allocation.

    PAFIA is very appreciative for the support that legislators and the Governor have for the program, but feel it is a very good time to invest further in the industry - bringing more films and shows to the Commonwealth and creating additional jobs throughout the state. Growth in the industry means more economic activity and investments in the communities where the shoots are taking place.

    A brief May 15 primary election update: Four incumbents lost, with the most significant being the Democratic nomination for Lieutenant Governor. Mayor John Fetterman from Braddock beat current LG Mike Stack, who finished 4th in that race. Three incumbents from Western PA lost: Republican Senator Randy Vulakovich and House of Representative Democrats Paul Costa and Dom Costa. Three special elections were held for vacant House seats: a seat in Washington County (formerly held by Brandon Neuman) changed from Democrat to Republican, a seat in Bucks County (formerly held by Scott Petri) changed from Republican to Democrat, and a seat in Tioga County (formerly held by Matt Baker) stayed Republican.

  • Friday, March 30, 2018 1:21 PM | Jessica Sikes (Administrator)

    May 31 is here. June starts tomorrow. Place your annual state budget bets now: on time or late? Changes to the program or not? Your 30-day clock starts tomorrow. Good luck!

    With the annual pilgrimage to state budget bliss begins, please pray for state revenues to exceed expectations resulting in a surplus. Notwithstanding that scenario, expect state budget spending to be slightly above the current year's $32 billion budget. As previously reported, the Governor proposed increasing the annual allocation to $32.9 billion, representing an increase of nearly $1 billion. During the days and weeks leading up to June 30th, PAFIA will be actively advocating for an increase in the annual film tax credit allocation. This continued outreach to various members of the General Assembly (House & Senate, Republican & Democrat) has been an integral part of PAFIA's government relations strategy and advocacy. It allows for PAFIA leadership to routinely be introduced to new members of the legislature, as well as outreach to elected officials who have been in office for years. PAFIA will be coordinating with many stakeholders, including the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh Film Offices, to increase to the $65 million film tax credit allocation.

    PAFIA is very appreciative for the support that legislators and the Governor have for the program, but feel it is a very good time to invest further in the industry - bringing more films and shows to the Commonwealth and creating additional jobs throughout the state. Growth in the industry means more economic activity and investments in the communities where the shoots are taking place.

    A brief May 15 primary election update: Four incumbents lost, with the most significant being the Democratic nomination for Lieutenant Governor. Mayor John Fetterman from Braddock beat current LG Mike Stack, who finished 4th in that race. Three incumbents from Western PA lost: Republican Senator Randy Vulakovich and House of Representative Democrats Paul Costa and Dom Costa. Three special elections were held for vacant House seats: a seat in Washington County (formerly held by Brandon Neuman) changed from Democrat to Republican, a seat in Bucks County (formerly held by Scott Petri) changed from Republican to Democrat, and a seat in Tioga County (formerly held by Matt Baker) stayed Republican.

  • Wednesday, February 28, 2018 1:23 PM | Jessica Sikes (Administrator)

    On Tuesday, February 6th, the Governor gave his annual budget address before members of the House and Senate. The Governor has proposed a $32.9 million budget, nearly $1 billion more than this current year's approved spending plan. In addition to the Governor's budget proposal, revenues for the current fiscal year are exceeding projections, resulting in a surplus. The proposal reflects an additional $225 million in funding for education as well as a severance tax on natural gas.

    PAFIA is working with many stakeholders, including the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh Film Offices, to seek an increase to the $65 million film tax credit allocation. While PAFIA remains very appreciative for the support that legislators and the Governor have for the program, we feel it is a very good time to invest further in the industry - bringing more films and shows to the Commonwealth, creating additional jobs throughout the state. PAFIA will be working closely with our supporters, as well as reaching out to those legislators who don't support the tax credit or remain skeptical of the benefits and impacts.

    As February ends, House and Senate Appropriations Committees will be finishing up their hearings with all the state agencies and return to session on March 12. PAFIA will continue to fight for the program.

  • Tuesday, January 30, 2018 1:30 PM | Jessica Sikes (Administrator)

    The House and Senate returned on Tuesday, January 2nd and both were in session last week (Jan 22-24). For the week of January 29th, only the Senate is in session. Both the House and Senate are in session next week, and the Governor gives his annual budget address on Tuesday, February 6. The House and Senate will adjourn for Appropriations hearings, returning to session in mid March.

    It is my understanding that the Governor will propose that the FIlm Tax Credit will remain funded at $65 million for this year. During our subsequent outreach, we will express appreciation for the continued support but will make a measured plea for a responsible increase in the amount. With 2018 being a re-election year for the Governor, all House members, and half of the Senate, there will likely be fiscal challenges with balancing the budget. Sound familiar? Stay tuned...

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. 

Read More
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?

Read More
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).

Read More
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.

Read More
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.

Read More
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%)

Read More
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.

Read More
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.

Read More
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.

Read More
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.

Read More
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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