Greetings from Harrisburg and a Happy November to you all.
Last week provided a lot of activity in Harrisburg, passing numerous bills tied to the budget, culminating with the Governor signing the bills on Monday, October 30.
The revenue package provided additional funds to balance the $32 billion spending plan, relying largely on borrowing ($1.5 billion) against the state's Tobacco Settlement Fund. It also includes $300 million in special fund transfers, expanding the sales tax to online vendors, a new 12% tax on consumer fireworks, and gaming expansion.
A few very good things to take note of with the budget resolved: the application and approval process is now operational (had to wait until the budget was approved), FY 2017/2018 reflects a $65mil commitment to film tax credits (increase of $5mil pursuant to the authorization bill in 2016), and also the establishment of a new "film production tax credit district" provision.
Included in the bill (HB542, link below), the Department of Community and Economic Development will establish up to two film production tax credit districts. Districts must be at least 55 acres, located on a deteriorated property, and be occupied by a qualified business that would make a capital investment of at least $400 million within five years and contain at least one qualified production facility and six sound stages. The new credits would begin in the fiscal year 2019/20, which would begin July 1, 2019 (if budget is on time).
While the budget was 4 months delayed, the outcome is very positive for the film industry. A continued commitment by the Commonwealth to the industry is proven and there is now new framework for additional state investments in the film industry via the film production tax district provision.
Link to House Bill 542: http://www.legis.state.pa.us/CFDOCS/Legis/PN/Public/btCheck.cfm?txtType=PDF&sessYr=2017&sessInd=0&billBody=H&billTyp=B&billNbr=0542&pn=2598
Pennsylvania Film Industry Association (PAFIA)461 Cochran Road, Box 246Pittsburgh, PA 15228(717) 833-4561 email@example.com