HARRISBURG, Pa., March 10, 2011 – On Tuesday, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett gave his budget address, laying out his plan for getting Pennsylvania out of its $4 billion budget deficit. Included in his speech was the mention of several cuts to popular programs. However, one program that isn’t on the chopping block is Pennsylvania's Film Production Tax Credit that Robin Ross, from our Harrisburg office, has been working tirelessly to preserve. Not only did Governor Corbett agree to maintain the tax credit at its present level as established by the former administration, he made special mention of it in his address. Corbett noted that Pennsylvania's Film Production Tax Credit is important to the growing film industry in and around Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, and that even the government knows when not to yell "cut."
In 2009, the Pennsylvania Senate proposed cutting the tax credit. However Ross, on behalf of our client, the Pennsylvania Film Industry Association, was able to restore it to $46 million. In 2010, the program was increased to $60 million. Knowing that the state would need to make serious cuts to balance its budget, Ross feared the tax credit would, again, face being eliminated. However, through lobbying the General Assembly and Corbett’s administration, and mobilizing the statewide membership of the association, the tax credit remains fully intact.
The argument Ross made to the administration and General Assembly is that the investment the state makes more than pays for itself by the economic activity the tax credit generates. In its first year, Pennsylvania’s Film Production Tax Credit had an economic impact in excess of $500 million, creating almost 4,000 jobs and providing state and local governments with more than $60 million in revenues from taxes, fees, and permits.
Given the budget hole the current administration has to fill and tax credit’s recent past, this is a huge victory for Ross and our client.